Persistence helps LSU for 15th commitment

LSU coach Nick Saban kept close tabs on one of the players he recruited at Michigan State in 1999 and stayed on him even after academics led him to attend a prep school. And even after Chris Vincent of Philadelphia sat out the 2001 season to gain his academic eligibility, Saban continued to show interest and received a commitment from the 6-foot-2, 215-pound free safety. He is the 15th early commitment for the Tigers' 2002 recruiting effort.

Vincent, who will be 20 when he enrolls at LSU next fall, played cornerback for Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pa., before attending Valley Forge Academy in nearby Philadelphia, where his cousin Troy is an All-Pro cornerback for the NFL's Eagles. Chris was used at running back and free safety at the military prep school. He picked LSU over Michigan State and West Virginia.

The Tigers missed out on another defensive back prospect when Muscle Shoals, Ala., athlete Jason Allen picked Tennessee over LSU, Georgia and Alabama on Friday. As a midterm high school graduate, Allen has signed a letter of intent with the Volunteers and will be able to enroll at Tennessee next month. Head coach Phillip Fulmer plans to use Allen as a defensive back with the possibility of also playing him at wide receiver.

LSU was recruiting Allen as a defensive back, and Georgia was considering him as a running back. As the Muscle Shoals quarterback, Allen rushed for 1,740 yards and 22 touchdowns on 202 carries his senior season.


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