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LSU's Larry Porter earns National Recruiter of the Year

Posted: Monday February 19, 2007 12:11PM; Updated: Tuesday February 20, 2007 9:18AM
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LSU's Larry Porter (second from left) has established himself as a master recruiter by locking down players from the Gulf Coast.
LSU's Larry Porter (second from left) has established himself as a master recruiter by locking down players from the Gulf Coast.
Steve Franz/WireImage.com
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By J.C. Shurburtt, Special to SI.com, Rivals.com

It's no secret that the stretch of Interstate 10 between New Orleans and the Greater Houston area produces some of the nation's top high school football talent on a yearly basis. In the Class of 2007, no assistant coach had more success mining that fertile belt than LSU running backs coach Larry Porter. For his efforts, he is Rivals.com's National Recruiter of the Year.

Eight players Porter targeted signed with LSU. They had an average star rating of 4.0, and each came from that stretch of road along the Gulf coast.

Porter was one of only three coaches (USC's Todd McNair and Florida's Stan Drayton being the others) to sign two five-star prospects. The 34-year-old pulled Hempstead (Texas) wide receiver Terrence Toliver away from Florida, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and others. Porter also held off the Gators and Florida State for five-star defensive athlete/safety Chad Jones of Baton Rouge (La.) Southern Lab.

In addition to Toliver and Jones, Porter signed two other Rivals100 prospects -- safety Stefoin Francois out of Reserve (La.) East Saint John and Marerro (La.) John Ehret defensive tackle Drake Nevis -- for a total of four, more than any assistant in the country.

"I'm very honored to be recognized for my hard work and my sleepless nights," Porter said. "But all in all, it's a staff award. We do everything as a staff here at LSU. We work hard as a staff.

"We are nationally ranked and a nationally established program. You want to go out and try and recruit the best kids in America. From athletics, to academics to Tiger Stadium, we think we've got the total package."

Tigers coach Les Miles spoke about the efforts of his staff during a Singing Day press conference. LSU finished with the nation's No. 4 overall class.

"Our coaching staff did a great job," Miles said. "They recruited long and hard. They competed. A recruiting calendar is very much a competitive run, and when the pace gets faster there's so much to do and our coaching staff did that."

This isn't the first year that Porter has been outstanding on the recruiting trail. He was the recruiter of record for five-star prep school running back Keiland Williams in last year's class, winning a battle with USC that went past Signing Day.

Porter's strategy is simple: Get to know the prospect.

"It's all about relationships," he said. "I try to get to know the kid inside out. What are his goals in life? I try to make him understand it's all about trust. Once we can develop a trusting relationship, that's a good start."

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