Position – CB
Current Size and Speed – 5-11, 185
High School –Newman School
City/State – New Orleans, La.
Other major offers – Alabama, Michigan, Ole Miss, UCLA, USC
Scout.com Position Ranking – No. 26 (****)
While Vinson roamed the defensive backfield at Newman as a safety, most programs, including LSU, recruited the 5-foot-11, 185-pound athlete as a cornerback.
Ole Miss and others went as far as telling Vinson that he not only could choose between safety and corner, but also receiver.
Prior to the arrival of his senior year, the New Orleans native called coach Les Miles to let him know he was on board. When Vinson finished his final campaign at Newman the following fall, the Tigers realized just how big their pull was.
Playing on both sides of the ball, Vinson amassed over 1,100 yards rushing and 14 touchdowns on 138 carries while hauling in 20 catches for over 200 yards and four touchdowns. His ability to lock down receivers as a cornerback also showed, finishing the year with 49 tackles, three pass break ups and a fumble recovery, which he returned 108 yards for a touchdown.
On his productive senior season… “Though it ended with the loss in the playoffs (Capitol, 47-28), I left it all out there. I was glad to get to play on both sides of the ball, but I am ready to start learning to be a fulltime cornerback. It’s something I think I will really excel with.”
On learning under Patrick Peterson… “He’s definitely thought of as one of the top underclassmen this coming season, so I am glad that I at least get one year to learn from him. He has talked with me plenty before, and he let me know that he was going to bring me along. Morris Claiborne is pretty good too, so we should be set with some lock down guys. The sooner the summer gets here, the sooner I start the learning process.”
On the sell from coach Ron Cooper… “He talked the most about the history of great defensive backs that he has coached over his years. The thing he wanted from me was to promise to come in and work hard, and from there I would be able to have the opportunities on the field that I wanted.”
On his process… “Deep down I was LSU all the way. I was looking at LSU since I started to get recruited to colleges. When you grow up a fan and play around New Orleans and Louisiana kids, it’s tough to turn the offer down.”
If not LSU, then who… “At the end of my recruitment it was USC and Alabama. I developed a great relationship with the coaches from Alabama. They were from around my area, and they were recruiting the same way that coach Cooper was. I likely would have ended up there.”
When he first knew college football was in the cards… “My first offer was from Ole Miss, and that was at the end of my sophomore year. At that point I had started two full seasons for Newman, and I figured LSU would one day show enough interest to offer. Turns out they did.”
The LSU weight program… “About a week after I signed I got hold of a thick book from the coaches about what I should and shouldn’t eat. I have slimmed down from 190 to 185. I am doing a lot of running. I’ll compete in the high jump during Thursday’s state track meet. My highest jump is 6-4, but I will need to clear 6-6 to have a chance at winning.”
On his roommate situation… “When we move in during June I will be with Tyrann Mathieu, James Wright and Eric Reid. I played some 7-on-7 with James, and I have known Tyrann since little league baseball. He has always been an animal. Playing cornerback with him in college is something I am really pumped about.”
His jersey choice… “I have been on the No. 5 since the day I committed. I asked the coaches for it, so I hope it is there for me when I get to campus this summer. It’s the same number that I have worn since little league.”
Favorite sport growing up… “It was always about basketball. I am keeping myself buried in the NBA playoffs right now. I played through middle school, but by my sophomore year I had to hang the shoes up.”
Off the football field… “All my friends play neighborhood basketball games. When we aren’t outside then we are in the house playing NCAA or NBA Live on Playstation.”
Favorite meal… “It’s New Orleans, so anywhere you go is likely the spot. When I am at home I have my mom cook red beans and rice.”