When running backs coach Larry Porter is on the recruitment trail, rest assured that LSU will be in good standing with said recruit.
When it came to Justin Maclin, however, Porter’s job got a little easier.
Porter had been building a relationship with the junior’s family for over 20 years – dating back to the LSU coach’s playing days as an offensive teammate of Justin’s father, James, at Memphis State.
“Coach Porter is family to me, and he sold the LSU program in a way that I could not turn down,” Justin said. “It was one of those things where I grew up a fan of LSU football, so having the opportunity to become a part of it was something that I did not want to turn away.”
While Alabama ran stride for stride with the Tigers early in his recruitment, the nation’s No. 12 ranked outside linebacker said that the Bayou Bengals were the sure bet to land his signature all along.
“I never really had to think too much about things,” Maclin said. “I looked at Memphis and then at Alabama, but LSU was the best fit. The defense is going to be spectacular, and I wanted in.”
The question remains, where will the 6-foot-4, 230-pound athlete fit into Don Chavis’ new look defense?
“Coach Chavis told me that I can play all three linebacker spots, not just on the outside or as a drop down end,” Maclin said. “That is something I really wanted to hear. The sky is the limit, and I plan on doing some real big things in purple and gold.”
While Maclin admitted that the Tigers were always the team to beat; he would not render a decision without approval from the woman in his life.
“My mom kept saying that she needed to see about everything she was hearing before I could decide, so the plan was to get her down as soon as possible,” he said.
When she arrived, the Tiger coaches laid out the red carpet – which was highlighted by an in-depth look at the academic support her son would have at his disposal.
Consider the LSU brand sold.
“When she saw the Cox Center, it was game over,” Maclin laughed. “Boy, she could not believe it. After that she told me I could go ahead and make my decision whenever I wanted.”
According to Maclin, there was little time to waste.
“I went ahead and told all the coaches that I was a Tiger,” he said. “Coach Porter and everybody just went crazy. It was a great day for my family and I, so I am happy to have it all behind me.
“I am a Tiger for good, no second looks.”
Yet, as he strolled through the Mall of Louisiana on Saturday, there remained unfinished business.
“I think I am going to load up on LSU gear,” he said. “I had some, but you can never have enough.”