On Sept. 1 of 2009, Florida safety Wayne Lyons saw his first college scholarship – a letter from Stanford – come across the fax machine.
Nearly six months later, the total has climbed to nearly 30 – a number that Lyons said has gotten to be a bit overwhelming.
“I knew that I would get recruited hard by a bunch of schools, but I will be honest and tell you that I didn’t expect this much attention this early,” Lyons said. “Schools like USC, Ohio State, Florida State, Alabama and Tennessee have all sent scholarships. It’s pretty crazy to think about, especially since I am not even done with my junior year.”
While the LSU staff has focused their efforts for 2011 on a Louisiana-first approach, the Tiger staff has picked a few big names from outside the state to begin putting the pressure on.
This past weekend, Lyons joined the select group.
“I figured that they were close, but it became official when LSU went ahead and sent the offer,” he said. “I called them up and talked to one of the coaches, and he let me know that I have quickly become a big priority for them. They want to land a couple of big-time defensive backs, and the staff feels like I could fit into that role.”
Ranked as the No. 5 safety in the country, Lyons said that the temptation to join the Tigers goes beyond just the basic attractions to a program.
“Patrick Peterson is from down here, and he played at Ely High – which is our rivals here at Dillard High,” Lyons said. “I have always looked up to him, and when he sees me he talks about nothing but LSU. He said it was one of the best decisions he has ever made, and since I am thinking of leaving the state, LSU could be a good spot for me as well.”
While the offers have poured in, Lyons admitted that the scholarship from LSU was one overture that he had long been waiting on.
“LSU is truly one of the few schools that I hoped would offer, even before all of this began,” Lyons said. “I have that attraction to their program because they compete for championships and play in the SEC. That conference is what big-time football is about, and I see myself fitting into that sort of situation. LSU is in that category, for sure.”
With a 4.8 GPA (with AP courses) and a 22 on the ACT, Lyons said that the coming year would be about academics first, then football.
Couple those grades with his final stats from last fall - 75 tackles and six forced fumbles – and it is no wonder that the offer sheet is so impressive at this stage in the game.
“I am thankful, but I have to keep everything up,” Lyons said. “I make plays when the ball is in the air, and that is what the coaches love. If I keep things aggressive and stay on top of my schoolwork, everything should work out for me.”
While he was unsure of which camps he would attend this summer, Lyons said that LSU should get an official visit when his senior campaign rolls in.