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Jai Eugene switches and signs with LSU
A change of heart sends him to Death Valley
By Michael Luke -   Feb 09, 2006

Eugene on signing day with friends and family.
Eugene on signing day with friends and family.

After committing to the University of Michigan several weeks ago, Destrehan standout Jai Eugene had a change of heart and decided to sign with LSU. At 5'11" and 185 lbs with electric speed, the blue chip recruit was pursued as a cornerback by all of the top college football programs in the nation-from Miami to LSU.

In early January at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Eugene shocked many recruiting experts with his verbal decision to attend the University of Michigan. However, in the topsy-turvy world of college football recruiting, nothing is final until singing day, February 1.

"After committing with Michigan, I started to have second thoughts," said Eugene, "and after that, I started realizing what is important to me." In the end, staying home became important to Eugene.

"It's hard to leave home, and it's hard to leave LSU with the great program that they have. So, before it was too late, I called Coach Miles and told him that I was staying home," said Eugene.

Eugene said that LSUís fans and a chance to play in front of 100,000 plus at Death Valley was a major factor. He also believes that he has a better chance to start early for the Tigers, as opposed to Michigan. "Not to be cocky, I think I can be starting by the end of the season," said Eugene.

Being close to his son, Jai Jr., and his family sealed the deal for Eugene. At his son's first birthday, Eugene realized that staying at LSU was the right decision for him. "It wasn't that I worried about him being taken car of. It was that I wanted to see my son," said Eugene.

Originally recruited by Nick Saban before he left LSU for the Miami Dolphins, Eugene was equally impressed with Coach Les Miles. "Coach Saban was the first coach to offer me a scholarship," said Eugene. Even after he committed to Michigan, Miles told Eugene that he wasn't going to give up on him, as they continued to pursue him after the All-American Bowl.

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