Visits first for Barbe's Vincent

Barbe running back Justin Vincent, regarded by many as the best senior prospect in the state of Louisiana, was at the LSU campus again recently, but it doesn't necessarily mean he's any closer to committing to the Tigers - or anywhere else.

When Tiger Rag visited him and his teammate, cornerback Ivan Stevenson, in the spring, Vincent said he liked what he saw and heard from coach Nick Saban, but also wanted to explore most of his possible avenues. As of late July, he's sticking to the idea.

"That's still pretty much my plan," Vincent told Tiger Rag on Monday (July 23). "I really like LSU. But I'd still like to take all my visits."

Vincent, who attended LSU's first summer-camp session, was also at the Nike combine May 6, where he ran the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. According to his mother, Lilly Vincent, one of his coaches clocked him at 4.37 last week.

"We were just in Baton Rouge for the (LHSAA) All-Star Game," Lilly said Sunday. "I know Justin told the coaches that LSU was very high on his list."

On the same week of the Nike camp, Vincent and Stevenson also had other events scheduled at LSU - namely, the state track-and-field championships. They and Drew Blanchard, who will be a freshman wide receiver at McNeese State this fall, were part of the 4x100-meter relay team that won the state championship last year. This spring, Barbe finished third in both the 4x100 and 4x200 competitions.

"It was a little bit disappointing," Vincent said. "We didn't really expect to win for sure, but we weren't really happy about finishing third."

Vincent (5-10, 200) ran for 1,650 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior. Since then, he's been on the track and in the gym, getting ready for two-a-days. Barbe coach Jimmy Shaver said he expects to play Vincent at quarterback from time to time in a case of putting the ball in the hands of his best athlete.

Stevenson also made the most of his trip to LSU in May. He recorded a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash, which was second only to Patterson athlete Blair Irvin Jr., who committed to Saban three weeks later. Stevenson also sported a 34.8-inch vertical jump, helping himself become a legitimate SEC-caliber player in the eyes of recruiters despite playing at cornerback for the first time last season.

"It's a little scary being out on the island," he says. "But the coaches wouldn't put you out there if they didn't have faith that you could get the job done."

Vincent expects to be academically qualified for college. Stevenson says he's got a bit of work to do in the classroom, but that it's not anything he can't handle.

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