Jarvis Landry was one of the select members of Saturday’s gathering with the LSU coaches, a get together that the staff hoped would push the uncommitted in-state targets that held offers into the Tigers’ corner.
When Landry left campus, he relayed a message to TigerSportsDigest.com that LSU fans had been waiting on for some time.
“I’m on board,” he said. “It’s over.”
Before heading to Baton Rouge on Saturday morning, Landry had no plans of ending his process, instead hoping to let things play out through his senior season before he made any moves.
“I just didn’t think the move would come today, and that is the honest truth,” Landry said. “I figured it would be just a day to hear more from the staff and that I would get to hang with some of my friends that are already committed.”
However, what transpired was an afternoon that Landry will never forget.
“The truth is, today it hit me that LSU was my family,” he said. “I was hanging with the other in-state guys, the same guys I have known for over a year, and we were cutting up and having fun and just being family. I had never had a feeling like that with people outside my immediate family, and that just made it sink in.
“I kind of started to realize as the day went on, I didn’t belong anywhere but LSU.”
Each player got a chance to go have some one-on-one time with coach Miles and their future position coach, something Landry said hit home with each prospect.
“We kind of all got that feeling that the staff looked at us as equals, and they showed love and had private time with each kid that came down,” Landry said. “Sometimes you get the feeling at other places that they want one kid more than others, but that wasn’t how LSU was doing it. The LSU coaches did it like a family would. Everyone was of equal importance.”
Before Landry met with Miles, the 6-foot, 185-pound junior receiver sat down with recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson and wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales.
“They talked about how much the offense could use a player like me, and both of them stressed that the offense would be seeing big changes next season and that their production would be up,” Landry said. “That settled any doubts I had, because both Frank and coach G are men I take at their word.”
After the meeting, Miles called Landry into his office.
“Coach Miles has been a guy that has recruited me since I can remember anyone recruiting me,” Landry said. “He is a very laid back guy, and he just let me know that he was ready for my decision as soon as I was prepared to make it. He told me that if I joined the class, it would be some of the best news he ever received.”
After the meeting, the group of 2011 prospects in attendance made their way to the LSU’s basketball game against Alabama at the PMAC.
Landry, uncommitted but admittedly ready to end the process, was asked to stay behind.
“Frank and coach G said that they needed to tell me a few more things, so me and my brother just stayed back there with them,” Landry said. “For the next hour Frank and coach G both laid everything out on the line, and I left the room and called my mom and told her I wanted to commit.”
What was said in the meeting that sent Landry to the phone line?
“They sold me on the Louisiana card,” Landry said. “They pointed to other schools out there that compete with the big boys, and they said that those schools can’t say that they put together an entire in-state class and won championships. They promised me that if we all got on board, this class would put Louisiana back on the map.
“It was right then that it hit me,” he added. “It’s all about Louisiana. When I look at Alabama, I want it to be state vs. state. I thought about the other guys that are committed and the others that will soon, and I had to be a part of it. I want to bring Louisiana to the top.”
During the meeting, Landry said that he hit the coaches with questions on everything he had ever questioned about his recruitment and eventual decision.
“It all checked out,” he said. “And when it was done, the look in their eyes was sincere. Frank told me, ‘Jarvis, we need you.’ That’s when I went and called my mom and told her I was going to commit.”
The connection to Wilson, one of the Tigers’ newest staff members, played what Landry described as the biggest factor in committing early.
“Frank is a father figure to me,” Landry said. “I look up to him on so many levels, from what he has done as a player, to a coach to his recruiting style. He is just a great guy, and I wanted to play for him.”
What was the family’s reaction to the decision to stay at home for college?
“All smiles,” Landry said. “My grandmother’s birthday is today, so I am taking her out with our family to celebrate that. She admitted that me committing was a great present. Now she can come see me play, as well as my mom and grandfather.”
As for Landry’s message to the Tiger faithful.
“The next few seasons are going to be big time,” he said. “We are bringing LSU back to the top, and it is starting right here in Louisiana.”