STARKVILLE, Miss. — There's a reason why Kevin Toliver was a consensus five-star prospect coming out of high school.
One of the nation's best recruits lived up to the billing Saturday night in his first game as an LSU Tiger. Toliver started at corner and played nearly every snap against Mississippi State, helping the Tigers get out with a 21-19 victory.
Toliver was mostly tasked with locking down MSU's No. 2 receiver Fred Brown. Toliver limited him to three catches for 53 yards, most of that production coming on a 33-yarder that was Toliver's only blown coverage of the night.
Toliver also finished with six solo tackles, the most of any on the team, and a pass breakup. He had several more deflections and disruptions that didn't show up on the stat sheet.
"The guy's going to be great," said fellow corner Tre'Davious White. "For a freshman to come in this hostile environment and play the way he played, the sky's the limit for him. He's going to go nowhere but up."
Toliver enrolled at LSU this spring, the latest in a long list of highly-rated defensive backs to take their talents to Baton Rouge. He showed some growing pains in the spring, as he mostly worked as LSU's third corner behind White and Edward Paris.
Toliver had a huge fall though, and that propelled him into the starting lineup. He's taken advantage of that and rewarded the coaches for having so much faith in him.
"He didn't play like a freshman tonight," White said.