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2013 ATH Diarse commits to LSU

3/17/2012

BATON ROUGE, La. -- 2013 ATH John Diarse committed to LSU on Saturday, giving the Tigers their sixth commitment for the class.

Diarse, who plays for Neville High School in Monroe, La., was on a visit to Baton Rouge this weekend and made it official.

"I committed and gave Coach (Les) Miles my word, so I'm going to be in Baton Rouge," Diarse said.

Diarse, an ESPNU 150 watch list member, said some inspirational words from Miles prompted him into deciding to commit prior to his senior season.

"We had a meeting before we started the day, and (Miles) talked about seizing the moment and that a lot of guys don't get this opportunity," Diarse said. "That kind of stuck with me throughout the day."

With Miles' thoughts on his mind, Diarse said he mulled his options during the Tigers' spring scrimmage, which he came to Baton Rouge to see firsthand. When the practice concluded, Diarse said he once again had a chat with Miles.

"After practice I told him I wanted to commit, so we set up another meeting and I gave my word and told them I was going to commit, and we just had a big celebration in his office," he said.

Diarse is the very definition of an athlete for Neville, where he has lined up at quarterback, safety, receiver and cornerback. Diarse led the Tigers to a 14-0 record and a Class 4A state championship last season, mainly from the quarterback spot. As a junior, he rushed for more than 1,300 yards and scored 26 touchdowns during the run to the state title, and he added more than 900 yards and 17 touchdowns through the air. He also intercepted three passes.

Diarse has spoken with new LSU wide receivers coach Adam Henry, as well as running backs coach and recruiting coordinator Frank Wilson, about where he will land once he reaches Baton Rouge. He said he will likely end up at wide receiver.

"I think they're going to put me in that receiver position. They told me today I have a lot of ability that most guys don't have," Diarse said. "They need those guys that are physical and quick, and I have those traits, and they said it's been awhile since they've seen that kind of ability in a guy."

Physicality will be important for Diarse, who at 6-foot-0, lacks elite height fot a wideout, but makes up for it with a 210-pound frame. That toughness stands out on film, where he routinely fights through traffic and tackles for yardage.

Diarse said he was excited to get out to LSU practice, where the Tigers are now in their third week of work. He said the team's work ethic was evident after the program's disappointing end to 2011 -- in the same building where Diarse's Tigers triumphed a month before.

"It was great. The guys were out there competing and getting better, and that's great to see," he said. "I know they're going to have a lot of drive and fight because they lost the national championship, so it was great to see that."

The Tigers' latest commitment should turn away a healthy list of suitors, including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi State and TCU, who were pursuing the north Louisiana talent. Diarse said it wasn't always his intention to end his recruitment so early, but the timing felt right.

"It's just something I kind of felt. It was just one of those things," he said.