2022 LSU Football Recruit Earl Little Jr. Grew Up a Tigers Fan Despite Living Most of His Life in Florida

Glen West

For four-star defensive back Earl Little Jr., playing in the secondary runs in the family. Little's father, Earl Sr., was a star safety at the University of Miami in the mid-90s before spending eight years in the NFL.

Before Little was born, Earl Sr. spent a few seasons with the New Orleans Saints and also spent time with the Cleveland Browns and Green Bay Packers before ultimately stepping away from the game in 2005. So with all of that wealth of football knowledge, it only made sense for his son to follow in his footsteps and turn into a star defensive back himself.

The greatest advice Little says his father has given him is to always remain hungry because you never know what opportunity is right around the corner. 

"Just really to stay working hard and don't get to big headed," Little said. "Work hard in the weight room, in the classroom and this'll all work itself out."

Despite mainly growing up in Florida, Little grew up an LSU fan as well as a Miami fan. The reason he fell in love with the Tigers from such a young age is the way their defensive backs always seemed to have a knack for making plays.

"LSU, that's home of the DBU," Little said. "I used to like watching Tyrann Mathieu, Jamal Adams, Grant Delpit and even the up and coming cornerback they have Elias Ricks. I feel like that's just home because even my dad lived there a few years when he was playing with the Saints."

Little is so enticed by the prospect of attending LSU that he actually visited twice during the season, in a 23-20 win over Auburn and a 42-28 Saturday night win over Florida. The bright-eyed sophomore said he loved the atmosphere and even got the chance to meet senior cornerback Kristian Fulton on one of the visits.

"We talked about technique, ball skills, staying patient and really just the basics," Little said. 

LSU, Alabama, Tennessee, Miami and Oklahoma are the four schools showing the most interest in Little at the moment. Little was supposed to visit LSU this past month and Alabama in April but like all other recruiting visits, those will be pushed back to a later date.

Little says his relationship is strong with all of the LSU coaches, in particular defensive backs coach Corey Raymond, who actually knew Little's father when the two were still in the NFL for Raymond's last season with the Detroit Lions and Little's first season with the Saints.

"They talk probably like twice a month and all I really know is that they go way back and have remained close since," Little said. "They [LSU] call me about every two weeks and tell me how much they want me there, that they love watching me in the film room when they're breaking down their different recruits. They love how aggressive I am and feel like I could bring that to their LSU culture."

Heading into a big junior year, Little said he'd like to be able to improve on his off coverge, where the defender leaves a little bit of a cushion for the receiver depending on the defensive scheme. Little is very confident in his ability and would be comfortable playing either corner, nickel or safety for whichever team he ultimately chooses.

"I feel that I'm an aggressive player, a ball hawk that has a nose for the football," Little said. "I can tackle and really just feel like I'm a complete player that will be able to help teams win."

Playing for such a legendary program with a rich history of successful defensive backs would be a great honor for Little, who said LSU is one of those schools that when they come calling, you listen with an extra ear.

"That'd be a dream come true to be honest because I've always wanted to play with them since I was a little boy," Little said.