Dozens of highly touted prospects who flooded LSU’s campus last weekend for the school’s annual junior day were banned from walking on Tiger Stadium’s playing field.
From the club level, they could only look upon that green grass.
Florida cornerback Saivion Smith, though, was determined to walk a surface that has seen so many historic moments. So, he waited until most of the recruits had left the club area before asking an official if he and a small group of prospects could break the rules.
The answer: Yes.
“It was a great sight,” he said.
Three days later, Smith, the top-ranked cornerback in the 2016 class, committed to LSU on Tuesday during a live announcement ceremony on ESPNU.
Smith can make his non-binding verbal commitment official on National Signing Day next February. And if he does? He’ll continue the Tigers’ streak of highly touted defensive back commits to a university dubbed “DB U.”
LSU will have signed at least one five star defensive back in the signing classes of 2014, 2015 and 2016. The school would also have signed five defensive backs ranked in the top five in the past four classes, and that doesn’t include Donte Jackson, a 2015 signee ranked the nation’s third-best athlete who’s expected to play defensive back.
“DB U,” Smith said when asked why he chose LSU over Florida and Florida State.
Smith attends IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Defensive line coach Ed Orgeron and defensive backs coach Corey Raymond recruited him.
He calls his “great” relationship with Raymond as a key factor in the decision and said he spoke to several current and former players about LSU, discussions “that sealed the deal.”
He plans to take an official visit to LSU this fall. Smith is expected to start his career as a nickelback. He’ll have stiff competition for playing time.
Smith, if he signs, would join Jamal Adams (2014) and Kevin Toliver II (2015) as five-star defensive backs who inked with LSU. That excludes Jackson and Ed Paris, a four-star 2014 cornerback ranked the third-best at his position.
Smith said he’s trying to convince a host of players to join him at LSU. Maryland native Dwayne Haskins Jr., the fifth-best pro-style quarterback in the nation for 2016, tweeted to Smith that he’s “looking forward to playing” with him.
Haskins has not committed to a school and is seen as a lean to Ohio State and Maryland.
Said Smith about that: “We talked about playing with each other at the next level, but LSU wasn’t mentioned.”
LSU’s 2016 commitments
Dee Anderson, WR, 6-4, 177, Mesquite, Texas (West Mesquite)
Donavaughn Campbell, G, 6-5, 340, Ponchatoula (Ponchatoula)
Clifford Chattman, S, 6-4, 175, New Orleans (McDonogh 35)
Feleipe Franks, QB, 6-5, 205, Crawfordville, Fla. (Wakulla)
Jamal Pettigrew, TE, 6-6, 218, New Orleans (St. Augustine)
Saivion Smith, CB, 6-1, 175, Bradenton, Florida (IMG Academy)
Stephen Sullivan, WR, 6-6, 200, Donaldsonville (Donaldsonville)
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.