Published March 7, 2011 - 5:28am
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Saturday Down South is continually counting down the top 20 players in the SEC for 2011 – pre-season style!
Morris Claiborne – No. 14
Opposite Patrick Peterson in 2010, Morris Claiborne was under the microscope and had a target on his back from opponents continually picking on him and throwing away from the all-world Peterson. However, Claiborne rose to the challenge and had an outstanding sophomore year for the Tigers. He is a dynamite defensive back and athlete from Shreveport, Louisiana, who looks to take that next step forward to being a lockdown corner in the SEC.
At 6-0, 179lbs, Claiborne isn’t the guy who will impress you with his size; however, his athletic talent, speed and willingness to learn everything he can to get better speak for themselves. Heck, he didn’t even enter LSU as a defensive back but as a receiver. It took persuading from the coaching staff to get Claiborne to switch over to the defensive side. His freshman year in 2009, he backed up Peterson.
In 2010, Claiborne filled the vacancy at corner opposite Peterson and led the team and ranked second in the SEC with 11 passes defended. He also led the team in interceptions with five, which was good for tied for third in the conference. Claiborne was tied for ninth on this team with 37 total tackles.
In John Chavis’ defense – yes “Third and Chavis” – Claiborne will be very good this coming season in 2011. He has matured physically, and he is primed for another stellar year. I’m sure offensive coordinators aren’t exactly scared to go after Claiborne again, and he’ll prove them wrong.
At 2010 media days, LSU head coach Les Miles said was gushing about Peterson’s talent at corner and then he said, “Mo Claiborne’s on the other side. He’s pretty good, too.”
I look for Claiborne to be more than “pretty good” in 2011. LSU has such a talented defensive roster, and Claiborne is one of the most talented out of all of them.
Pay particularly close attention to Claiborne this upcoming season because he will impress you with his speed, athleticism and corner cover skills.