When his sophomore season began last September, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne was basically the guy on the other side of the field from Patrick Peterson.
It's safe to say Claiborne has a little more notoriety these days.
The Tigers' junior was voted to the SEC coaches' preseason All-SEC team that was revealed Thursday.
As a sophomore in 2010, Claiborne mostly operated in the shadow of Peterson, one of the top cornerbacks in the country.
Unfazed by that or by opposing quarterbacks looking his way more often than not, Claiborne led LSU with five interceptions in 2010, which also ranked among the league leaders. He also recorded 37 tackles and solidified a pass defense that was the stingiest in the SEC, allowing only 159.2 yards a game and six touchdowns.
Besides Claiborne, six other Tigers earned spots on the coaches' pre-season honor unit.
Receiver Rueben Randle was voted to the second team after snaring 33 passes for 554 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. He led the team with 16.5 yards a catch.
Multi-talented defensive back Tyrann Mathieu also earned a spot on the second team after delivering 57 tackles, 8.5 for loss, 4.5 sacks, two interceptions, a team-best five forced fumbles and three recovered fumbles in a hybrid role in his freshman season last fall.
Joining Mathieu on the second-team defense is linebacker Ryan Baker. In his first season as a full-time starter in 2010, Baker logged 87 tackles, second on the team, and led the Tigers with seven sacks.
Defensive end Barkevious Mingo was also voted to the second-team defense. Used primarily as a pass-rush specialist, Mingo notched 35 stops as a redshirt freshman and recorded 5.5 tackles and 2.5 sacks. He also forced two fumbles and recovered one.
On the third team, LSU is represented by right tackle Alex Hurst on offense and defensive end Sam Montgomery on defense.
Unheralded Claiborne carves out his own place
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