Publisher's Notes: Every weekday until the LSU football team reports for Fall Camp on Sunday, Aug. 4, TSD will unveil another player in our top 50 Tigers for the 2013 season. We arrived at this list by combining individual rankings from TSD's Austin Cooper, Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua. For example, a player who received a No. 1 vote got 50 points, a No. 2 vote got 49 points, and so on. Every player who received votes had his points totaled across all three individual lists, and the result was our final TSD ranking. All players, including incoming signees, were eligible for selection.
No. 50 – CB Dwayne Thomas
The first of eight defensive backs and four cornerbacks who will appear on this list, Thomas (6-0, 175) saw very limited playing time in his first season on campus in 2012, primarily running down kicks. Just how much of the field he saw, and what affect that may have on his classification, is actually an interesting topic of debate this offseason. LSU's official website lists Thomas as a redshirt freshman entering 2013, but the stats page of the NCAA indicates Thomas played in the first four games of 2012.
Either way, Thomas figures to enter Fall Camp in August as a competitor for the dime back spot in Corey Raymond's secondary. He actually started at corner in the spring game due to the absences of Jalen Mills and Jalen Collins, gaining some more experience at the position. Thomas' ability in man coverage is his biggest strength. He is not widely regarded as a physical player, meaning he fits better in dime packages where his responsibility is covering the slot receiver, not crashing in on the quarterback as a blitzing gunner.
By The Numbers
Thomas' highest ranking: 40th
Thomas' lowest ranking: Not Ranked
Why this ranking is too high
Thomas is yet to prove he's even the best candidate to line up as LSU's dime back. Plus, with stiff competition coming back in Class of 2012 mates Kavahra Holmes and Derrick Raymond as well as incoming freshman Tre'Davious White, the task could end up being too tall for Thomas. He'll have his chance to get on the field, but, as of now, Thomas has not cemented a thing.
Why this ranking is too low
There just aren't a lot of proven bodies at cornerback, with only Collins and Mills having seen major time at the position in their freshmen seasons in 2012. So the opportunity is there for somebody to step in and grab major time, and Thomas came into LSU with as much promise and potential as anyone. It's never a good idea to write off any player who hasn't gotten a full shot, and Thomas will get his beginning in August. Can he deliver?
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No. 50 - Dwayne Thomas
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