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No. 12-ranked prospect Rashard Lawrence commits to LSU

Rashard Lawrence, the No. 12-ranked prospect in the Class of 2016, is staying in his home state for college.

The nation's No. 6-ranked defensive tackle picked LSU over Ohio State in a Friday morning ceremony held at Neville High in Monroe, Louisiana.

"I chose LSU because of the relationships that I have developed with the players, and I've always wanted to play in Death Valley," Lawrence told ESPN. "So at the end of the day, I followed my heart. The people of Louisiana have watched me grow and now will see me the next four years."

Lawrence, who made an official visit to UCLA in addition to trips to LSU and Ohio State, is another huge win for the Tigers as they continue to put together one of the top classes in the 10 years ESPN has ranked prospects and recruiting classes.

LSU moved back to No. 1 in ESPN's class rankings on Friday, leapfrogging Ohio State.

With the state's top-ranked prospect now in the fold, coach Les Miles and staff have secured commitments from nine of the top 13 prospects in the home state and lead for the No. 3-ranked prospect in Louisiana -- cornerback Kristian Fulton.

Lawrence's pledge comes on the heels of a commitment from tackle Willie Allen (ESPN 300 No. 16), who picked LSU over TCU and Auburn on Thursday.

The Tigers' class now sits at 22 commitments, including a record-tying 19 ESPN 300 verbals in one class. Lawrence sees big things in the future for LSU with the likelihood of the program signing the nation's top-rated class.

"I think the recruiting class has a chance to be special and win championships in the near future with what we have coming back and what we have coming in," Lawrence said. "We can do big things. This recruiting class has everything you would want in one. We will not only fight for LSU but will fight for each other."

In addition to Fulton, the Tigers remain in the mix for several more ESPN 300 prospects, including No. 1 Rashan Gary, No. 18 Trayvon Mullen, No. 41 Deontay Anderson, No. 90 E.J. Price and No. 110 Jauan Williams.