Edward Paris Commits to LSU: Where Florida, Texas Turn After Missing on 5-Star
Five-star safety Edward Paris has committed to LSU.
Paris is a huge pickup for Les Miles and his staff and the Tigers are off to a phenomenal start on the recruiting trail. Including Paris, LSU's 2014 class now has five recruits committed.
Without a doubt, Paris is the biggest commitment of the bunch so far.
Sonny Shipp of 247Sports.com reports on the commitment:
Five-star safety Edward Paris, Jr. has been on the brink of giving the LSU staff some good news for several weeks and on Monday he got their week off to a great start.
Paris, the nation's No. 2-ranked safety and No. 9 prospect overall according to 247Sports, went public with his decision to commit to LSU on Monday.
Paris has the potential to be a superstar safety at the college level, and he already fits the mold of a LSU corner as just a junior in high school. He's 6'1'', 190 pounds and is ranked as the No. 3 safety recruit in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
For as big of a recruiting win as this was for LSU, there are two notable programs that missed out on his commitment. According to Woody Wommack of Rivals.com on Twitter a few days ago, Florida and Texas were the other two programs in Paris' top three.
Rivals100 DB Edward Paris said his top three is Florida, Texas and LSU yesterday. Today he's decked out in Tigers gear— Woody Wommack (@RivalsWoody) February 24, 2013
Where does each program turn after losing out on Paris' commitment?
Let's take a look at the recruiting trail for each school.
It's still very early on in the recruiting cycle, so the Longhorns don't have anything to worry about just yet. Losing an in-state recruit is always a letdown, but there are still plenty of elite in-state recruits for the Longhorns to focus on from here on out.
The most notable target should be 5-star defensive end Solomon Thomas, who has Texas listed as the favorite on his 247Sports interest list. Considering his high interest in the Longhorns and the fact that he's a big-time in-state recruit, landing him should be top priority for Mack Brown and his staff.
Will Texas finish with a top five 2014 recruiting class?
Five-star cornerback Tony Brown is another elite secondary recruit that Texas needs to try to fight for, but much like Paris was, Brown appears to be a LSU lean. Texas' best option may be to seal the deal with 4-star safety Jamal Adams. He's 6'0'', 185 pounds and he's ranked as the No. 4 safety in the 2014 class, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Texas is listed as the favorite on his 247Sports interest list, but so is Oklahoma, so focusing on out-recruiting the rival Sooners for the top safety should be a must—especially if the Longhorns are looking to fill the spot that could have been taken up by Paris.
Much like Texas, the Gators don't need to worry much about missing out on a top recruit so early into the process. Unlike Texas, Florida is also coming off an elite year on the 2013 recruiting trail, so really Will Muschamp and his staff are just supplementing the depth chart in an effort to build a perennial contender in the SEC.
Overall, the top recruit on the board for Florida has to be the nation's No. 1 overall recruit Da'Shawn Hand. The Gators are in his top five (247Sports) and he deserves Muschamp's undivided attention considering his star potential.
Will Florida finish with a top five 2014 recruiting class?
From a secondary standpoint, landing 5-star cornerback Jalen Tabor would more than make up for losing out on Paris. Tabor is the No. 4 corner in the 2014 class (247Sports Composite) and the Gators are in the top five of his 247Sports interest list.
If Florida can get a commitment from Tabor, the thought of lining up across from star 2013 corner recruit Vernon Hargreaves III could be enough to keep him committed through the process.
Missing out on Paris is disappointing, but this defense still has elite potential, especially if the Gators can land either Hand or Tabor.
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