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Monday, July 1, 2013
Paris aiming to woo for LSU

By Tom VanHaaren

LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- If there were awards for most entertaining interviews at The Opening, safety Edward Paris Jr.. (Arlington, Texas/Timberview) might be the front runner. The LSU commit sat down for what started out as a normal interview. At least it was until his teammate and Stanford commit, safety Brandon Simmons, walked in the room.

Paris was talking about all the players he wanted to recruit at The Opening. He then looked at Simmons and said he was gunning to recruit him as well.

"I'm definitely recruiting guys like Malachi Dupre, Jamal Adams and I'm trying to get Brandon to decommit from Stanford, but I know that's probably not going to happen," he said. "Most of the players with LSU offers, or if I see someone that's really good, I'll try to ask them if they like LSU. We're trying to be the best team."

Ed Paris, Brandon Simmons
Arlington (Texas) Timberview teammates Ed Paris (left) and Brandon Simmons (right) are adamant that they've made correct college decisions. Paris is committed to LSU and Simmons to Stanford.
That's when the hilarity ensued. Because Simmons was sitting right next to him, Paris decided to start his recruiting pitch mid-interview. The two went back and forth as if they were brothers, debating back and forth about the benefits of a Stanford education, the football prowess of LSU, balancing business classes and football in Palo Alto. It eventually became a hard sell from Paris.

"Why Stanford, though?" he asked. "How about this, you take your official visit to LSU with me and we'll talk about it later."

That was a request Simmons wasn't willing to oblige. Paris knew he would have a tough time convincing his friend to do so, but it was worth the effort, given the time and place of the debate. Simmons even fired back with a few arguments of his own, some that Paris didn't have a rebuttal for.

"Ed, you're like a brother to me, but at Stanford I'll be making six figures right out of college," Simmons said. "Stanford is ranked No. 3 in the nation for its education and there's great tradition there."

Paris let the debate trail off to finish the interview, but it only seemed as though he was just buying time to come up with new arguments. The ESPN 150 prospect said he feels no pressure at The Opening and said he is just out here to have fun and enjoy his experience.

He is looking forward to working on the field with the coaches, competing against the top prospects in the country and all the extras the players get to experience in Oregon. Paris said this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and the mood was set for his week as soon as he stepped off his airplane in Portland.

"Once we got off the flight, people were asking us if were on the football team. We told them we were out here for The Opening and they knew what that was," he said. "We were signing autographs; it was crazy. As soon as we stepped off the flight, people had pictures and asked if we could sign it."

Once Paris answered his final question of the interview, he turned right back to Simmons and picked up right where he left off, trying to convince his friend to flip to the Tigers.