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Story Archives: LSU's top players
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|LSU's top players|
With college football still a couple of months away, I compiled a list of LSU's top 10 players for the upcoming season.
But first I'll start with players that could have easily been in Top 10.
DT Anthony Johnson
Yes, the guy hasn't played a down of college football, but there's a reason his nickname is "The Freak." Freshman defensive tackle Anthony Johnson was an Under Armour All-American and was named First-Team All-USA by USA Today. Many believe he will be a starter come September and be a force in the middle.
CB Tharold Simon
LSU really showed how deep the secondary was last year when sophomore cornerback Tharold Simon came in the game against Alabama and swatted a pass away from Julio Jones. I was super impressed with Simon at the spring game as he made some fantastic plays breaking up passes and allowed no separation between the receivers.
RT Alex Hurst
Redshirt junior Right Tackle Alex Hurst is a returning starter, and he will be an important piece of the offensive line this fall.
SS Brandon Taylor
Senior safety Brandon Taylor had a good year last season before getting injured, and he had a good sophomore season as well. Taylor will provide experience to a young, but very talented secondary.
RB Michael Ford
Redshirt sophomore running back Michael Ford came to LSU with the most hype at running back, but isn't getting the same attention after sophomore Spencer Ware's brilliant Cotton Bowl performance. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Ford led the Tigers in rushing this season.
FS Craig Loston
Redshirt sophomore Craig Loston is a hard-hitting safety that has a great knack for finding the ball.
10. WR Russell Shepard
No one can deny that when junior wide receiver Russell Shepard has the ball, it's something special to watch.
Shepard is an elusive receiver with great speed and improved hands.
He could finally have that breakout season Tiger fans have been anticipating since he arrived on campus.
9. SS Eric Reid (So.)
Sophomore safety Eric Reid made his presence known when he touched the ball in 2010, and I look for him to do the same this season.
He is a great tackler and is great at covering as well.
8. LG Josh Dworaczyk (Sr.)
Redshirt senior left guard Josh Dworaczyk started all 12 games last year and had a solid season. Look for Dworaczyk to continue that success he gained a year ago this season.
7. MLB Ryan Baker (Sr.)
With the loss of Kelvin Shepperd, someone will have to fill the void at middle linebacker for the Tigers. Senior Ryan Baker is expected to fill this hole and fill it well.
Baker showed how tough he was last year when he played the first month of the season with his mouth wired shut after he broke his jaw.
He finished second on the team in tackles last year and is expected to lead the Tigers this year.
6. DE Barkevious Mingo
It's really unfair to have a player that runs a 4.4 playing end, and LSU knows this is a huge advantage. Redshirt sophomore defensive end Barkevious Mingo is quick off the ball and is good at containing the edge.
Mingo had 2.5 sacks last year and along with redshirt sophomore defensive end Sam Montgomery, the Tigers should have an excellent pass rush this season.
5. Center P.J. Lonergan
Junior center P.J. Lonergan won the starting job at center when T-Bob Hebert got a DUI last offseason.
Lonergan played outstanding for the Tigers and will continue to be the starter at center this year.
4. CB Morris Claiborne
The media is extremely high on junior cornerback Morris Claiborne and some believe he is the best player LSU has.
Claiborne is an extremely talented corner in an extremely talented secondary. Look for this LSU defense to pick plenty of passes off this fall.
3. RB Spencer Ware
Sophomore running back Spencer Ware spent most of his freshman season catching the ball out of the backfield.
Ware showed that he's just as good rushing the ball out of the backfield in the Cotton Bowl, and he's the pre-season starter.
Ware is an explosive and elusive back with great hands and is poised for a breakout season.
2. WR Rueben Randle
Junior wide receiver Rueben Randle is a stud. Randle has great hands, great speed and great route-running ability.
If LSU can get him the ball, he'll make big play after big play for the Tigers.
1. CB Tyrann Mathieu
Every two or three years, a player emerges from the pack that just stands out. Sophomore cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is one of those guys.
He has that football instinct that every player wishes they possessed.
Mathieu forced six fumbles and had one interception as a true freshman last season.
He's a natural playmaker, and the sky's the limit for this cat.
Jake Martin is a summer intern for the Concordia Sentinel. He begins his junior year at Nicholls State in August. He will be serving as sports editor of the Nicholls Worth newspaper for the second straight year.
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