Kick and punt returners at a glance

Cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne will get their chances to shine on special teams.


Position coach: Thomas McGaughey

Starters returning: 0

Lettermen returning: 2


Kickoff returner

17 Morris Claiborne (6-0, 185, Jr.)

Punt returner

7 Tyrann Mathieu (5-9, 175, So.)


Kickoff returner

13 Ron Brooks (6-0, 177, Sr.)

7 Tyrann Mathieu (5-9, 175, So.)

2 Rueben Randall (6-4, 208, Jr.)

21Paul Turner (5-11, 186, Fr.)

Punt returner

2 Rueben Randall (6-4, 208, Jr.)

13 Ron Brooks (6-0, 177, Sr.)

3 Jakhari Gore (5-9, 166, RS Fr.)


Out of action: None

Morris Claiborne

Veteran difference-maker: Tyrann Mathieu

Rising star: Paul Turner

Something to chew on: LSU has produced at least one punt or kickoff return for a touchdown every season since 2000. Last season, Patrick Peterson became the first Tiger to take two punts back for scores in the same season since Skyler Green in 2003.

Numbers of note: Peterson gobbled up 1,350 yards on kick returns last season.

This unit will shine if: Mathieu’s and Claiborne’s ball skills translate well to the return games and give LSU a threat every time the opponent kicks the ball.

This unit will struggle if: The coaches have to try several different players in the return game to find somebody or somebodies who give the Tigers a steady presence.

Rueben Randle

Prediction: Mathieu follows in the footsteps of Peterson, Chad Jones and Skyler Green as one of the top returners in the country and will take at least one punt back for a score. Claiborne won’t be as dazzling on kicks, but will be the kind of heady decision-maker Les Miles prefers to have deep on kickoffs.

Quotable: “In Mathieu and Claiborne, I think we have two guys who have a chance to be as good as our best (in the return game).” – Les Miles




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