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Wednesday, March 6, 2013
2014 Recruiting Preview: Defensive backs

By Gary Laney

Devin Voorhies
2014 standout Devin Voorhies can play multiple positions, but might end up at safety.
This is the sixth in a series looking at players LSU might target in the 2014 recruiting class. Previously, we looked at wide receivers and tight ends, running backs and quarterbacks, offensive linemen, defensive linemen and linebackers.

BATON ROUGE, La. -- It looks like DBU will be alive and well.

If LSU doesn't get another defensive back in its 2014 recruiting class, it'll already have a pretty good class with its three current commitments, each one on the ESPN Watch List.

Here's a look at who's committed, and who else LSU is targeting.

Committed

CB-S Edward Paris (Arlington, Texas/Mansfield Timberview HS): Paris is big and fast and gives LSU's coaches the luxury of trying to figure out if he's a cornerback or a safety. It appears Paris can play either. At 195 pounds with sprinter's speed, he can be a physical presence as a cornerback. Or, he can easily get up to 210 pounds and be a physical safety.

Either way, LSU will be happy with the Watch List prospect.

S Devin Voorhies (Woodville, Miss./Wilkinson County): Voorhies is listed as an athlete and he plays the part. He's a quarterback for his high school team and there seems to be differing opinions on whether his skills are best suited for safety or wide receiver in college. My guess is safety, where his strong frame and good athleticism can combine to make him an effective tackler and capable coverage man.

CB Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor): A small, but capable playmaker, Hardeman is already trying to make plays for the Tigers on the recruiting trail by actively pitching the Tigers to other recruits. He's short, but has the frame of a running back and a nose for the football.

Other targets

CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen): A candidate to be the top cornerback in the 2014 class, Brown is a scout's dream. He's big and strong for his position, has track-star straight-ahead speed and, by all accounts, can turn his hips to run with a receiver well.

Many think LSU has the inside track for the talented Texan who is less than three hours from LSU's campus in Beaumont. "Track" is the operative word. His sister, a 2013 senior, has committed to run track for LSU. And Tony Brown, an elite sprinter and hurdler, said he plans to run track as well.

LSU's powerhouse track program could be a drawing card in that regard.

S Laurence "Hootie" Jones (Monroe, La./Neville): The top defensive back in Louisiana is very much like Paris with his versatility. He's already close to 210 pounds, giving him the physicality to be a hard-hitting safety but he's also shown hips and speed that give him cornerback-like coverage abilities.

Jones is generally thought of as a safety, and one of the nation's best.

CB Lashard Durr (Gulfport, Miss./Harrison Central): Recruiting isn't always about beating the competition for players everybody knows about. Sometimes it's about finding the hidden gem.

LSU may have found one with Durr, a coastal Mississippi stud who visited LSU this week and may have entered the conversation of players to watch for the Tigers.