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LSU's national championship is having a big impact on the school's football recruiting effort in Georgia. Cornerback Branden Smith of Atlanta's Washington High and linebacker Jarvis Jones of Carver High of Columbus, arguably the state's top two prospects, participated in LSU's camp. The Tigers already have commitments from two of the state's top players, Tucker wide receiver Drayton Calhoun and Peachtree Ridge linebacker Kevin Minter. "They [LSU] are the champs, and when the national champion comes after you, then I would think most players would have to take a serious look, " Minter said. LSU always has recruited the state, with five Georgia players on its 2008 roster. But the Tigers are drawing serious interest from several of the state's elite prospects. Attracting Smith and Jones to camp was a coup for LSU coach Les Miles. Also in attendance, but only observing, was Carver of Atlanta's Darren Myles Jr., one of the nation's top safety prospects. "I wanted to go to LSU because I had to see what it was all about, " Smith said. "Everything speaks for itself there. They win national championships; they have great facilities and have a great coaching staff. It was my first time there, and I enjoyed the experience." LSU rarely beats out Georgia in head-to-head battles for home-grown players, but appears to have accomplished that with the commitment from Calhoun, who initially wanted to go to Georgia but committed after visiting LSU last February. Georgia is still recruiting Calhoun, who says he is Baton Rouge-bound. "I'm 100-percent with LSU; it's the best place for me, " he said. Smith and Jones roomed together at the LSU camp. "We talked about a lot of things, such as how recruiting was going and our expecations for our senior season, " Smith said. "We didn't really talk about playing at [LSU together], but we both had a good time."
Peachtree Ridge linebacker Kevin Minter, who committed to LSU, said he liked the idea of playing for the defending national champions. However, Minter said he liked the opportunity to see early playing time for the Tigers even better. "I thought it was the perfect time to go there if you're a linebacker, " Minter said. "They won't have a lot of depth at linebacker after this season, so I feel like I have a good chance of [contributing] as a freshman. That was a factor in my decision."