When the LSU staff looks outside the state’s borders for talent, there are the usual suspects of Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, keeping the process simple by recruiting talent that is already familiar with the southern way of life.
Yet there are always the few and far between prospects, the high school standouts from Maryland (J.R. Ferguson) to Michigan (Joseph Barksdale) who are too good to pass up, and have no hesitation with the idea of leaving home to take their game to the next level.
For 2011, running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson, after the signing of Cincinnati running back Spencer Ware, elected to go back to Ohio for more.
Wilson’s target is one of the most popular names in the Midwest, St. Vincent-St. Mary High defensive back Doran Grant. Ranked as the No. 2 cornerback in the country, the 5-foot-10, 177-pounder has already pulled in scholarship offers from over 25 schools, including the likes of Ohio State, Penn State and USC.
One of his most recent offers, which arrived last month, was from Baton Rouge. When he attempted to contact the staff, Wilson was waiting on the other end of the line.
“I have started talking with [running backs] coach [Frank] Wilson a good bit since then,” Grant said. “He told me that right now I am one of the top prospects on their entire board. [Wilson] has talked with me about the type of cornerbacks that they have and want to continue to have in their program, and I feel how sincere he is. I hadn’t gotten a chance to talk with [defensive backs] coach [Ron] Cooper yet, but I look forward to that.”
The son of former Spartan Ted Jones, Grant said that Michigan State is currently sitting in his leader group, which also includes Ohio State, West Virginia, USC, Penn State, Georgia Tech and Michigan.
Now that the Tigers have offered, will Wilson and the staff be able to get LSU into the mix?
“I think that LSU has a shot to really make an impression because I have liked the program throughout high school,” Grant said. “They were probably the first school to ever send letters, and that started my freshman year. They talked to me again last year, but I was still young. Now that the scholarship offer has happened, I just want to keep building on that.”
With a trip this spring having been made to Ohio State, and trips scheduled to Michigan and Michigan State, when will the four-star cornerback hop on a flight for Louisiana?
“I plan on doing all of my official visits in the fall, and it could be then,” Grant said. “I have to see how recruiting this spring goes, first. I am going to talk with coach Wilson and see what he thinks, too.”