Ronnie Vinson, the 5-foot-11, 190-pound four-star safety/cornerback from Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, La., has just over 20 scholarship offers including schools from the SEC, Big 10 and even Pac-10.
“I want to try and go through the whole recruiting process,” Vinson said. “Its gonna take a while to check everyone out and take all my visits.”
Although Vinson denies a favorite, he said he now favors USC, LSU, Michigan, UCLA, Alabama and Ole Miss. All of his favorites have offered.
“I need to try and get to know all the coaches a little better,” he said. “I want to make sure I have a great relationship with them and feel like I can fit in with the program.”
Already Vinson has attended junior days at LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss.
“Growing up in Louisiana you just follow LSU football,” Vinson said. “Plus I had an uncle (James Wagner, a kicker in the early ‘80’s) and cousin (Brian Madden), played defensive line in the early ‘90’s) play there, so I’ve been around them forever.”
Besides his family ties to the Tigers, Vinson says he likes the program in general. “It’s a great program,” he said. “I love their facilities and I have a great relationship with coach Les Miles. I’ve talked to him several times already.
“Coach Miles is a great guy,” he said. “He’s really funny and my mom likes him a lot too.”
The Tigers are only one and half-hours from Vinson’s house, but he says that distance will not be an issue for him. “I know that my friends and family will come out and see me wherever I go,” he said. “I’m not worried about the location at all.”
Alabama was another junior day destination for Vinson. “Alabama was real nice,” he said. “We got to tour the campus and the weight room and that was really impressive.
“They have an amazing academic center,” Vinson said. “I love how close everything is too. The campus is really easy to get around.”
So while the Tigers are recruiting Vinson strictly as a cornerback, he says the Tide want him on either side of the ball. “They’ve talked with me about possibly playing running back or defensive back,” he said.
“I actually prefer defense though,” Vinson said. “I’d rather hit someone, then get hit.”
Another school that is recruiting Vinson for both offense and defense is Ole Miss. The Rebels were his first offer during his sophomore year. “My family came with me on the junior day to Ole Miss and we all really liked it,” he said. “Coach Houston Nutt showed us around the campus and we really liked him.
“Coach Nutt is a winner,” he said. “He’s a great guy and he knows what he’s doing.”
Although Vinson doesn’t have any unofficial visits coming up, he says he does intend on going to several camps. “I’m gonna try to hit up the USC Rising Stars camps,” he said. “And UCLA since I’ll be in town.
“I’m also thinking about going back to LSU for a camp and Alabama this summer,” he said.
Both the Trojans and Bruins are recruiting him for cornerback.
“I really like USC,” he said. “I’m being recruited by coach Ken Norton, Jr and he’s a great guy.”
Vinson says that like LSU, USC is another program that he’s always followed. “They’re like on TV every week,” he said. “So I would watch them a lot and really got into them. I like the whole program. They seem to have a lot to offer with their football program and location.”
Even though Vinson has never been on the USC campus, he has been to California before. “I have some family in California,” he said. “I’ve been up to San Francisco and the Bay Area and I’ve been all over southern Cal too.
“I’m looking forward to visiting UCLA too,” he said.
“I know they didn’t do so good last year but I think they can turn it around,” he said. “It would be cool to be part of helping them get back on top and really make a difference.”
Vinson, ranked as the No. 18 safety in the country by Scout.com, says he’s being recruited by Bruins defensive line coach Todd Howard.
Much like the Bruins, Michigan also finds itself in a rebuilding situation. “They have great tradition so I think they’ll be able to get things going again,” he said about the Wolverines.
Despite his offer from Michigan, he says he hasn’t really gotten to know the coaches very well yet. “I haven’t talked to coach Rich Rodriguez at all and am still learning more about them.”
The Wolverines are also recruiting him for both running back and cornerback.
Vinson finished his junior season with around 800 yards rushing and 400 yards receiving for a total of 15 touchdowns. On defense, he had 75 tackles.
“I feel like I can run with any receiver,” said Vinson of his 4.55 speed. “I react well to the ball and I’m great at run support.
“I’m pretty elusive when I have the ball on offense,” he said.
Vinson says he can bench 285-pounds, squat 435 and has a 35-inch vertical jump. “I’m working on changing direction better,” he said. “I want to improve my footwork and my overall technique.”
He says he’d like to major in business and reports a 2.8 core GPA and took the SAT in February. “I’m not sure what the score was,” he said. “But my counselor said that I’m qualified so I did okay.”