BATON ROUGE - Head coach Chuck Winstead and the LSU Men's Golf program did not have to venture far from their home base in Baton Rouge to fill their 2013 recruiting class as a pair of nationally-ranked in-state prospects signed National Letters of Intent to join the program for the 2013-14 season.
Pierce has signed with the Tigers as the No. 10-ranked recruit nationally for the Class of 2013 for the Polo Junior Golf Rankings, while Ricard is the No. 15-ranked recruit in the country for the signing class by the current Golfweek/Sagarin individual player rankings for junior golf.
"This is an exciting day for our program as we are not just adding two outstanding young players to our squad, but we have two great young men ready to come in and make an impact as Tigers," Winstead said. "We're fortunate they have decided to continue their academic and athletic pursuits at LSU.
"It also speaks to the depth of talent in the state of the Louisiana at this point in time. We look forward for Eric and Brandon being the first of many to represent their home state and this great program."
A Rolex Junior Second-Team All-American by the American Junior Golf Association in 2012, Pierce has emerged as one of the nation's elite prep prospects while securing five top-10 finishes in AJGA sponsored events this year. That includes a tie for third place at the Rolex Tournament of Champions while posting a 72-hole score of 4-under par 276 at the Capital City Club in Alpharetta, Ga.
Pierce continued that momentum into the summer with an appearance at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., when he tied for fifth place at The Junior PLAYERS Championship with a three-day score of even-par 216 for a strong performance in one of the major tournaments on the junior circuit.
Pierce, who has earned eight career top-10 finishes as a member of the AJGA during his prep career, took home his first career AJGA title with his win at the 2010 Sean O'Hair Junior All-Star Championship after posting a career-low score of 10-under par 206 at The Rawls Course in Lubbock, Texas. He emerged with a three-stroke victory after firing an 8-under par 64 in the final round of the event.
A member of the West squad at the 2012 Wyndham Cup, Pierce is also the nation's No. 25-ranked recruit for the Class of 2013 according to the National Junior Golf Scoreboard.
Like Pierce, Ricard has solidified his reputation as one of the nation's premier prospects for the class with a run to the Sweet 16 in match play at the 2012 United States Junior Amateur Championship.
After tying for 15th place in stroke play with a 36-hole score of 3-over par 147, Ricard advanced in a field of 64 match play qualifiers to the Sweet 16, while officially tying for ninth place at this year's U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. He won his sectional qualifier for the event in Kansas City.
Ricard has also enjoyed a successful career as a member of the AJGA with two tournament victories as an active participant over the past three seasons. Ricard was crowned champion at the 2011 Elbit Systems of America Championship in Fort Worth, Texas, with a tournament record 11-under 202 and the 2012 David Toms Foundation Junior Championship in his hometown of Shreveport.
That performance has also given Ricard a No. 21 national ranking by the National Junior Golf Scoreboard and a No. 35 national ranking in the Polo Junior Golf Rankings for the Class of 2013.
Ricard signs with the Tigers as one of the more decorated players in the state of Louisiana in recent years, winning back-to-back individual Class 3A state titles both as a sophomore in 2011 and as a junior in 2012 while leading the team at Loyola College Prep to consecutive state championships as a team. He also fired a tournament and amateur course record of 7-under 65 to take the 2012 Louisiana Champions Invitational title in the event held at Tamahka Trails Golf Club in Marksville.
"LSU Golf has a very bright future," Winstead said. "I couldn't be happier that these two young men have chosen to represent their home state and continue their development at LSU."