Summer Top 50 - No. 23 Ed Paris

A new projected starter at corner crashes TSD's summer countdown at No. 23. Sophomore Ed Paris brings a lot of potential, and swagger, to the position.

Because everyone loves to rank things, and because summer is the best time to argue and debate, TSD is spending the coming weeks through the end of July rolling out its top 50 LSU football players for the coming season.

Many are seasoned veterans and a select few are new to the roster, but all 50 Tigers figure to make an impact on the gridiron in 2015.

So we hope you enjoy this list, updated once each weekday and compiled by the TSD staff of Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua (who, naturally, had disagreements of their own along the way).

Today the countdown continues at No. 23 with a new projected starter at cornerback, sophomore Edward Paris ("Ed").

REASON FOR OPTIMISM


Paris has potential for days and fits the mold of cornerback LSU and position coach Corey Raymond prefer. First off, there's the size of this former Texas prep standout. At 6-foot-1 and 208 pounds, Paris isn't as lean as some of LSU's other tallish corners (think Tharold Simon, Mo Claiborne), but he is a very physical player.

He excels in press coverage and by all accounts is a willing tackler, a lot like the guy starting on the opposite island - junior Tre'Davious White. Paris took control of the second corner job this spring, for now having distanced himself from talented rookie Kevin Toliver (No. 44 on this countdown). Competition will resume in August's Fall Camp, but Paris certainly enters the fray with his nose out in front.

Something else Paris possesses that's a little less tangible or measurable is his poise/confidence. Never afraid to get in his opponent's ear, Paris is a talker between the lines. Off the field, though, in interviews, he displays a poise that's rare amongst athletes his age. Here's betting that internal demeanor, mixed with some swagger directed toward LSU foes, is a good mix for a player set to make his mark over the next two to three years in the Tigers' secondary.

STILL LEFT TO PROVE


He did play in all 13 games last fall, but Paris - almost exactly like the player ranked directly behind him on this countdown (Lewis Neal, No. 24) - wasn't counted on very much to produce. Paris made just three total tackles on the campaign with no other statistics to boot while entertaining mostly special teams duties.

It's also fair to question how Paris will perform within an evolving defensive scheme under new coordinator Kevin Steele. The primary coverage strategy under John Chavis was man-to-man, trusting corners to jam their man and stay with their man long enough for the defensive front to get home. Time will tell if Steele sticks with those principals or if more zone coverage is in the offing for the Tigers.

Then, as with almost every position on the field, there's the competition. Paris stands second in line at cornerback presently, behind White, but he'll have to continue to fend off Toliver as well as another talented incoming freshman in Donte Jackson (No. 27 on our list). He's fortunate LSU is young at cornerback in 2015, giving few experienced options to test him, but the Tigers haven't been afraid to turn to freshmen at the position before.





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