Position coach: Ron Cooper
Starters returning: 1
Lettermen returning: 4
17 Morris Claiborne (6-0, 185, Jr.)
7 Tyrann Mathieu (5-9, 175, So.)
24 Tharold Simon (6-4, 187, So.)
OFF THE BENCH
13 Ron Brooks (6-0, 177, Sr.)
26 Jalen Collins (6-1, 184, Fr.)
25 David Jenkins (6-1, 193, Fr.)
Out of action: None
Veteran difference-maker: Morris Claiborne
Rising star: Sophomore Tharold Simon
Something to chew on: Only three LSU cornerbacks have earned All-SEC recognition in the last 14 years.
Numbers of note: The four cornerbacks back from last season accounted for 13 of the 32 turnovers the Tigers forced last season – nine interceptions and four fumble recoveries.
This unit will shine if: None of the four veterans misses any time with injuries. Claiborne, Mathieu, Simon and Brooks form as strong a crew of CBs as there is in the country and as long as they are healthy and available, LSU is going to be tough to throw the ball against.
This unit will struggle if: It’s hard to find any rhyme or reason why this part of the Tigers’ defense might falter. All four veterans have big-game experience and have shown they can deliver big plays on a big stage.
Prediction: The combination of Claiborne, Simon and Mathieu will make it almost impossible for defensive coordinator John Chavis to not make the 4-2-5 the primary scheme for LSU – simply to make sure all three are on the field as much as possible.
Quotable: “We know we can be better than we were last year. We’ve all bought in more and have focused on the little things more every day.” – Morris Claiborne