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Friday, March 15, 2013
For LSU, state of Texas is back in play

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- When Texas A&M joined the SEC, it was supposed to further open up Texas for SEC recruiting, especially for the school from the neighboring state, LSU.

In the 2013 class, it didn't work out that way for the Tigers.

LSU missed on a couple of prized targets, notably wide receiver Ricky Seals-Jones, and finished the year with a rare recruiting shutout in the Lone Star state (although, it's worth noting that defensive tackle signee Christian LaCouture played all but his senior of high school in Texas).

Did it mean LSU had lost its touch in Texas?

Hardly.

LSU already has two 2014 commitments from Texas and is in the running for several more. Here's a look:

Already committed

CB Chris Hardeman (Houston/Alief Taylor): LSU's first commit, Hardeman won't be the biggest name in LSU's class, but he could end up being an important piece of the puzzle. At just 5-foot-9, he's small for the position, but LSU likes his knack for making plays on the ball.

DB Edward Paris (Arlington, Texas/Timberview): Arguably the biggest name in LSU's class so far, Paris will be one of the nation's top prospects next season. The biggest question is whether he plays cornerback or safety. He has the speed and quick, fluid hips to play corner and the size and physicality to play safety.

Targets

CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen): Brown, with the speed of an elite track athlete and the size of a safety, is widely considered one of the nation's top corner prospects, probably the best one. Many assume that since Brown's sister committed to LSU for track, he would too. He has said that's not the case. Yet, many consider LSU a top choice for him.

S Brandon Simmons (Arlington, Texas/Timberview): A prep teammate of Paris, Simmons is an ESPN Watch List safety who could become a factor for the Tigers, especially with Louisiana lacking high-end safeties behind the state's top prospect at the position, Laurence "Hootie" Jones.

TE Koda Martin (Manvel, Texas): LSU already has hosted Martin, a big, physical "Y" tight end, for a visit. Martin is a big-bodied player who could excel in LSU's power running system and might even be a fit as an athletic offensive lineman down the road.