Edwards back from LSU

Can the Tigers flip five-star defensive end prospect Mario Edwards before National Signing Day?

LSU played host to 15 official visitors this weekend, 10 of which were already committed to the Tigers.

On Saturday morning, Patterson linebacker Lorenzo Phillips committed to LSU coach Les Miles, leaving only four prospects on hand for the weekend's festivities that weren't verbal pledges to the Tigers.

The top-ranked prospect among the final four was Denton, Texas, five-star prospect Mario Edwards - who is tabbed as the No. 1-ranked defensive end and No. 4-ranked overall prospect in the class of 2012.

With a defensive end – Ken Adams – and a defensive tackle - Michael Brockers – now gone from last year's starting lineup, the 6-foot-4, 291-pound Edwards would likely step into the Tigers program and provide immediate help on the defensive line.

"That's something the coaches have been telling him a lot, but that's the coaches from a lot of schools that are saying that," Edwards Sr. said. "What (Edwards Jr.) liked about this weekend was that he got to see a different side of LSU.

"He was able to visit with the coaches and players in person and in that LSU environment. He enjoyed it a lot. And we both really liked the academic center and that side of things. We were very impressed with that."

From the COX Communications Center for Student Athletes to the program's academic structure for players on the football team, Edwards Sr. called the weekend's up-close look an eye opener.

"(The COX Center) was nice; it definitely was one of the best in the country," he said. "The visit stands out because LSU has that great presentation. The academic setup was up there with the best, and the campus is awesome and they have a great team.

"It was everything we expected it to be. They have a great program, from the facilities to the coaching staff."

Both father and son were able to spend plenty of time with Miles and defensive line coach Brick Haley, who has spearheaded Edwards' recruitment for the Tigers.

On a weekend visit to Baton Rouge that followed up in-home visits that Miles and Haley both made to Denton in the last week-and-a-half, the group ate dinner together both Friday and Saturday night.

While Edwards Sr. credited Haley for much of the progress the Tigers have made over the past year, there was a fresh face that stepped in to lend a helping hand for LSU this past weekend: sophomore cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, who played host to Edwards on his visit.

"(Mario) had a good time running around with the Badger (Mathieu)," Edwards Sr. said. "Mario can get along with anyone, but I think they hit it off because they are both quiet guys off the field. At least until you get to know them.

"(Mario) slept the entire drive back home, so that means he was out running around with those guys all day and night this weekend. I know they had some fun together."

With National Signing Day right around the corner, Edwards Jr. will stay home this weekend – effectively ending the traveling portion of his recruitment process – and reflect on the decision at hand, one that is now down to just two programs.

After being committed to the Seminoles since Mar. 25, Williams will put two hats on the table on Feb. 1.

"It will come down to Florida State and LSU," Edwards Sr. said.

How close are the Tigers to flipping the longtime pledge from a school that his father played college football for?

"All I know now is that (Mario) was impressed with it all," Edwards Sr. said. "He enjoyed it a lot. Now he just needs a little time to let everything soak in, so that's what he will do this week.

"There will probably be an announcement at the school on signing day."

With one program closer to home and the other the alma mater of Edwards Sr., what will Mario's father's role become moving forward?

"I want Mario to be happy with whatever decision he makes," Edwards Sr. said. "It would be great if he follows in my footsteps, but that is his decision. Now we just have to sit down and talk about it.

"This weekend definitely gave him a lot to think about."

Edwards, who is the top-ranked prospect in the Lone Star State, helped Ryan to a 12-1 record and appearance in the third round of the playoffs.

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