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Guyer High School (Texas) safety Ryan Yaites knows what it's like to fill big shoes.

Early in his prep career, he was asked to slide into a key defensive role when Guyer teammate Deuce Harmon, a class of 2021 four-star prospect (Texas A&M), went down with an injury.

Yaites isn't intimidated by a big challenge, which may go a long way in explaining his decision.

On Friday morning, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound safety announced his commitment to LSU over California, Ole Miss and Texas Tech:

Although that proved to be a difficult decision, one aspect of his choice brought clarity. 

Yaites wants to become a part of LSU's stellar defensive back tradition.

"LSU is a special program," he said. "Going there, talking to those guys, it fits me. It’s DBU. Seeing the practice, how they run things, you can see why it’s DBU."

That feeling came into focus for Yaites when an Instagram follower asked him about a "down year" for the Tigers defense - a year in which they still produced a potential top-five NFL draft pick in Derek Stingley Jr. 

"People have been questioning their corners, but next year that’s going to change," he explained. "When they say that group is special, it's not going to be one or two players. The whole defensive backfield is special.”

Knowing the fight for playing time will be fierce at the traditional SEC power program, Yaites said he intends to graduate ahead of schedule and early enroll next year. 

He wants to use every opportunity at his disposal to ensure future success at the next level.


“It’s big," he said. "It’s big shoes to step in."

With Yaites' commitment, LSU's 2023 recruiting class consists of four commitments, as he joins Missouri four-star tight end Mac Markway, Louisiana four-star wide receiver Omarion Miller and Georgia four-star safety Michael Daugherty.