No. 31 - Jalen Collins

All summer long TSD will unveil our top 50 LSU players for the 2013 season. TSD's Ben Love, Austin Cooper and Hunter Paniagua compiled the rankings. Today, at number 31, is cornerback Jalen Collins.

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. 31 – CB Jalen Collins

Entering his redshirt sophomore campaign, Collins (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) played a bigger role a season ago than any player yet named to TSD's top 50 for 2013. In 2012 he manned the third cornerback position for LSU, finishing the season with 30 tackles, tied for 11th on the team, and two interceptions, tied for third. He lined up opposite Tharold Simon on an island any time true freshman Jalen Mills went down into the box on nickel and dime sets.

Collins has good size and length and routinely found himself in great position on receivers last fall, but, too many times, he was beaten to the ball at the highest point. That will be a major area of concentration for Collins, who began the leap this past spring toward becoming LSU's second cornerback. There will be competition, though, as TSD hints at by including two cornerbacks ahead of Collins in the rankings. The fourth corner on our list, already named, was Dwayne Thomas at No. 50.

By The Numbers

Collins' highest ranking: 27th
Collins' lowest ranking: 32nd

Why this ranking is too high

Collins may have gotten solid experience in 2012, but it wasn't always good. LSU's pass defense let the Tigers down at an alarming rate toward the end of the season, most notably against Ole Miss, Arkansas and Clemson. Part of that can be attributed to Collins, who struggled at times in man coverage down the field. Plus, there's the fact that TSD has two corners rated ahead of him. If he's not even in the starting lineup, and Collins returns to a rotational role, his value – at least as the 31st best player on the team – could be in question.

Why this ranking is too low

Collins did have a nice spring before sustaining a minor injury in the last week, keeping him out of the Spring Game. He also fits the mold of cornerback LSU is seeking – tall, lanky and can run stride for stride with some of the fastest wide-outs in the SEC. The tools and potential are there for Collins to leave his mark in 2013. And, if he finds a way to ward off incoming freshman Tre'Davious White, Collins' stock and importance will rise this fall.

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