Former LSU running back legend and current Tigers' coach Kevin Faulk tells his cousin, Sage Ryan, not to look for the signal. Ryan, a 2021 athlete being heavily recruited by some of the top programs in the country, is making sure to heed the advice of his cousin.
"He says of course he wants me to come to LSU but it's my decision and really just told me to continue to take it slow," Ryan said. "He actually told me that when he was going through the process he got a signal of where to go and he tells me don't go looking for a signal but instead just believe in your heart where's home for you."
Sage says while he and Faulk don't talk on a daily basis, when Faulk does reach out to him, it's always to provide sound advice.
"He'll give me key points on how to contact the coaches, what to say, what questions to ask and really at the end of the day, his main message is don't let anyone tell you where to go," Ryan said.
Classified as the No. 3 athlete in the 2021 class, Ryan says LSU and most of the other schools that are showing interest, want him to play on the defensive side of the ball as a nickel corner or at safety. The prospect of playing for the Tigers in that secondary is admittedly enticing for Ryan, a Lafayette native with ties to the program.
"I feel like they're comfortable in knowing what they're supposed to be doing on the field and none of them really worry about making mistakes because they're prepared and well coached," Ryan said. "I like the big crowds, I like their swagger on defense and when they make a play, how hype they get."
As it pertains to his LSU recruitment specifically, Ryan mostly talks with secondary coach Corey Raymond and says those conversations mostly consist of how Ryan can continue to perfect his craft.
"He says I have to work on the simple things first and that'll lead to the more complex things on the defensive side," Ryan said. "He wants me to focus on the things that I can control and really he asks me how I'm doing."
On Monday, Ryan released his top-10 and at least for now, is taking his recruitment process slowly. The rising senior wants to make sure he can visit as many schools as possible in the coming months and with everything set on pause, Ryan is taking advantage of weighing all of his options.
The five schools that are recruiting Ryan on a consistent basis are LSU, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson and TCU. Ryan said he had visits set up with all of those schools with the exception of the Crimson Tide but those plans have since been delayed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"I was initially supposed to visit [LSU] on March 14 but we'll get everything situated when everything gets situated with the virus," Ryan said. "We don't have a specific date set on when to visit because we don't know how all of this is going to turn out."
Ryan's dilemma is similar to what many high school recruits are going through in these uncertain times. As a result, with so many visits yet to transpire, Ryan hasn't even thought of a date on which he'd want to commit.
Right now it's about focusing on what he can do to prepare for his upcoming senior season. Ryan says his vision in being able to notice plays before they happen is one aspect of his game he takes great pride in.
"Because I play receiver and running back as well, just knowing what routes are going to happen because I've played those positions so I know where the releases are," Ryan said. "As for things I want to improve, I think one area is press coverage. I'm getting better at it but it's something that I'm going to need to work on because everybody's fast, big and physical at the next level."