LSU’s lightning quick start to the 2011 recruiting class has roots in Louisiana talent.
Off the 10 early commitments, Trevon Randle, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound linebacker out of League City, Texas, is the only prospect from outside the Bayou State.
When the evaluation period began this spring, the LSU staff sent names in different directions. For South Carolina native John Chavis, some of his most important work would be done back home on the East Coast.
Upon his early May arrival in the Palmetto State, Chavis set out to Greenville to visit Pat Martin, a 6-foot, 210-pound safety prospect that he had offered a scholarship just over a month prior.
“When the offer initially came I was in shock because I wasn’t sure if a school like LSU would be ready to go ahead and try to get me to commit this early in the process,” Martin said. “I won’t forget that coach Chavis and LSU were one of the teams that came after me first.”
Thanks to visits like the one made by Chavis this past week, the bond between player and potential former coach is growing stronger.
“Coach Chavis and I have a relationship that is really expanding,” Martin said. “He has sold me on how great he is at coaching safeties up to be ready for the next level. He already tells me all the time about working hard, so I know that if I went to LSU he would be a great mentor.”
During his visit to Martin’s high school, Chavis took to strengthening his bond with the Mann staff.
“He must have stayed up at the school for over two hours just talking with my coaches,” he said. “It showed me how interested LSU really is. My coaches had nothing but good things to say after that.
“Later in the night I called coach Chavis myself and we talked for a good while about how my recruitment is going and how I want it to play out. We are getting along well.”
One thing Chavis made sure to do before the conversation ended was set Martin up for a visit to Baton Rouge.
“I don’t even think I am going to wait to take an official visit to LSU in the fall,” he said. “I want to get there sooner, so the plans right now are to come to one of the camps this summer and see what the campus and coaches are all about. I am excited about it because I consider LSU one of the top five programs in all of college football.”
With offers already in from Arkansas, Cincinnati, Duke, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Tennessee and UCLA, Martin has his eyes set on hearing from a few more programs before he begins to assign rank to his list.
“I will be down in Alabama on May 22 to work out, and that is one school I am hoping will go ahead and offer,” he said. “If I camp there this summer the coaches will have a chance to see me in person, and that’s what they have told me is the next step. There are also some schools around here that I still am talking with. I am just taking my time.
“If I end up getting invited to an All-American game then I probably won’t make my decision public until next January.”
Martin, named all-area, all-region and all-state, finished his junior season with 112 tackles, four fumbles caused and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a score.