Reassured Sampson sees path at LSU

Four-star local guard Brandon Sampson inked with LSU Monday morning. The Madison Prep standout spoke with TSD about how he came to his decision, playing time and wanting to play with Antonio Blakeney.

For the last few months, which is nowhere near as long as LSU has been recruiting Brandon Sampson, the Madison Prep four-star guard has voiced his concern about playing time at the next level.

When he originally committed to St. John's (NY) in January, part of the rationale was his ability to step in and play a major role right away in the Big Apple.

But, with head coach Steve Lavin parting ways with the program, the relationships that put St. John's over the top disappeared.

On Monday morning Sampson, decommitted from St. John's, announced his pledge to hometown LSU, subsequently signing a National Letter of Intent alongside his mother, Maude Sampson-Saunders.

"The first time around I decommitted to St. John's. The situation with the coach, I felt that it was a sign," Sampson said following his big moment. "So I really took that into consideration and just looked at everything, really wanting to follow my heart and going where I really wanted to go."

While a number of programs put their bids in, LSU swayed Sampson through a persistent message from head coach Johnny Jones that Sampson would have a chance to carve his niche, and earn significant playing time, in Baton Rouge.

"I repeatedly asked him the same question about playing time," recalled Sampson, who added he came to his final decision about a week ago. "Every time he told me the same thing. If I came in and worked, I could make my spot."

Another thing that helped make LSU the choice for Sampson, who had the rare opportunity to be recruited twice, is the presence of signee Ben Simmons and commitment Antonio Blakeney in the class.

Suiting up in the same backcourt as Blakeney, a five-star scoring machine, was particularly enticing.

"That's my guy. We talk a lot - me, him and Ben," Sampson said with a smile. "Going in with us two guards, me and Antonio Blakeney, I think we'll work hard to get our spots. Coming in as two highly ranked prospects, me and him can get there as long as we work."

With Sampson in tow, and Blakeney expected to sign this week, LSU will be at 12 scholarship players for 2015-16, leaving Jones and the Tigers one more open spot.

Check out more from Sampson and high school coach Jeff Jones in Scout's videos below.


And here are several additional photos from Sampson's announcement and signing ceremony Monday morning.

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