Edward Paris repping his home-state school, LSU - via @323Eddie_P
The Mansfield Timberview star doesn't like to be called a safety, but does that make him a cornerback?
Name: Edward Paris
High school and hometown: Mansfield (Texas) Timberview High School
Position: Paris is a defensive back who could play either cornerback or safety in college. Rivals, ESPN, and 247Sports have him listed as a safety, while Scout classifies him as a cornerback.
Height and weight: 6'1 200 pounds
Ratings: A four-star recruit by Rivals and Scout, 247Sports has him as a five-star prospect, the top player in Texas, and the no. 9 player nationally.
Offers: Paris holds offers from Baylor, Clemson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Iowa, LSU, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Purdue, SMU, TCU, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCF, Virginia, Washington, Washington State, and West Virginia. He committed to LSU in February of 2013.
Twitter: You can find the Timberview star on Twitter @323Eddie_P.
Edward Paris Class of 2014 DB - Mansfield Timberview ( Soph YR ) (via TexasPreps)
The discussion of where Paris will ultimately end up in college probably has to begin with how he ends up developing physically. Currently listed at between 190 and 200 pounds, Paris has the frame to eventually play at between 210 and 215 pounds, rather on the large size for a cornerback, though he doesn't necessarily have to add weight to compete in college.
The overall size, length, and strength of the Timberview product would all translate well to the boundary corner position, which often pits a team's strongest cornerback against the opponent's tallest, strongest wide receiver and also requires less pure speed and transition ability because the sideline is a major advantage limiting where the receiver can go.
Think Darrelle Revis of the Jets -- a cornerback who is elite for his particular position, but would struggle mightily matched up against a slot receiver because of his lack of elite ability to flip his hips and run with smaller, quicker receivers.
However, Paris is probably a more fluid athlete, overall. Yes, he's that good, even if he doesn't possess the developed strength of the much older Revis.
The designation of playmaker comes up a lot in evaluations on both sides of the ball. As a result, it can get overplayed a bit, but it is absolutely one that fits for Paris, who had seven interceptions as a junior, one of which he returned 98 yards for a touchdown, while also taking another to the house, along with three forced fumbles, three recovered fumbles, and also broke up 12 more passes.
Paris wouldn't be able to make so many plays if he didn't have elite-level ball skills, the ability to find and track the football, and the leaping ability to secure interceptions opposing quarterbacks thought they had thrown over his head. The speed is also there to keep up with faster quarterbacks and the fact that Paris plays a fair amount of cornerback for Timberview means that he won't have to start from scratch in terms of his footwork and other fundamentals to play cornerback in college.
The flip side is that Paris is also such a strong hitter and potential enforce over the middle that only playing him at cornerback would seem to hide some of the skills that make him such a valuable prospect because he is capable of playing around the line of scrimmage in run support and has a knack for knocking the ball loose from opposing ballcarriers.
So, the answer to the question that prefaces this whole evaluation?
Well, both -- Paris has the ability to play both positions, and do so at a high level. The solution is probably to use him situationally both as a cornerback and a safety, depending on where he could most effectively be used against any given opponent.
In the end, it may be more simple just to call him one of the best defensive backs in the country.
Look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.