For a weekend that was meant to highlight everything that LSU had to offer academically and athletically, New Orleans native Ronnie Vinson’s best memories from his official visit didn’t even happen on the Tiger campus.
“The coaches and recruits all went to Texas de Brazil together, and we ate more food than I have ever put down,” laughed Vinson. “It was a great time to bond, especially with so many commitments from the 2010 class in town. I have gotten to know guys from out of state, like Sam Gibson, a lot better, and that’s what I like doing when I come to town.”
Of course, it wasn’t all about the food.
Like the rest of the future Tigers that made their official visits last weekend, Vinson was able to have one-on-one time with both head coach Les Miles and his position coach.
“Coach [Ron] Cooper and coach Miles have said the same stuff to me throughout my recruitment, which is that I need to work hard and I could come in and compete for time along the cornerback depth chart,” Vinson said. “Patrick Peterson might be in his last year, and Jai Eugene is a senior. After those guys there are a bunch of younger names, and I want to prove myself and stand out when I get to campus.”
Though projected as a college cornerback by the LSU staff, Vinson spent all of his time at running back and safety the last three years at Newman, closing his career out with 1,145 yards and 14 touchdowns on 138 carries and 20 receptions for 211 yards and four scores as a senior. He added 49 tackles, broke up three passes and returned a fumble 108 yards for a touchdown.
While the athleticism is clearly present, Vinson admits that work needs to be done from a technique standpoint to get his game ready for the collegiate level.
That work began when Vinson worked out at cornerback during the Offense-Defense Bowl and continued when Patrick Peterson, Vinson’s host for the weekend, tutored the senior prospect during his stay.
“Getting the chance to hang out with Patrick and experience his side of college life was really cool,” Vinson said. “He is someone I definitely look up to when it comes to football, so I tried to just soak everything that he said up. He will be a great mentor for me next season.”
Signing day arrives in just over a week, though for the 5-foot-11, 190-pound Vinson, June is the month that matters the most.
“I know that signing my letter of intent will put an end to the recruitment, but that part has really been over with me for a long time,” he said. “I am just ready to graduate from school and start working out with the team this summer.”