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August 2, 2010

Who are the Best Defensive Players that LSU will Face in 2010?

Looking through LSU football news today, I noticed that several media sources pointed out that LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson was named to the Thorpe Award watch list.  My first thought was:  "good, if anyone deserves to be on a football award watch list this year, there is no player more deserving than Peterson."  As I have said  aloud many times:  Peterson is an All World shutdown corner.  Looking online I noted that both Peterson and LSU linebacker Kelvin Shepard had been named to the Bronko Nagurski Award watch list that honors the best defensive player of the year.  Both Peterson and Kelvin Shepard were also named to the Lott Award watch list. Officially, The Lott Trophy is given to a player who exhibits the same characteristics Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott embodied during his distinguished career: Integrity, Maturity, Performance, Academics, Community and Tenacity.  I remember seeing Ronnie Lott play and the thing I remember the most about Lott was that he was probably the hardest hitter I have ever seen.  I strongly suspect that the player that often wins the Lott Award is a hard hitting defensive back.  I also noticed that Drake Nevis has been named to the Outland Award watch list for the best lineman playing Defensive Tackle, Offensive Tackle, Offensive Guard, or Center.  Congratulations to Peterson, Shepard, and Nevis for playing well enough to be on these lists of elite players.  Most LSU football news services briefly noted the inclusion of each of these players on each of these Award watch lists and that was the end of the story.  Chris Low of ESPN noted in his SEC blog today that six SEC players were named to the Thorpe Award watch list.   Reading that six SEC players were included on the Thorpe list made me wonder how many of LSU's opponents this year have been named to the Thorpe, Nagurski, Lott, and Outland lists.  Here is what I discovered.

 The Thorpe Award list for best college defensive back not only includes Patrick Peterson but includes seven defensive backs from LSU's opponents this year.  Four of the defensive backs play for two of the non-conference teams that LSU will face.  North Carolina has two Thorpe hopefuls:  Safety Deunta Williams and Cornerback Kendric Burney.  The Thorpe list also includes West Virginia safety Robert Sands and cornerback Brandon Hogan.  In conference, LSU will face Alabama safety Mark Barron, Florida safety Will Hill and Florida cornerback Janoris Jenkins from this list. This year LSU will face four of the best safeties in college football and three of the best cornerbacks in the country.  What is surprising is that out-of-conference foes, North Carolina and West Virginia, have as many Thorpe list nominees as Florida.  LSU fans, it could have been worse.  If LSU's schedule had included Georgia and South Carolina this year, LSU would have faced two more of college footballs best cornerbacks.

The Bronko Nagurski award, given to the best overall college defensive player, not only includes Patrick Peterson and Kelvin Shepard but, 12 players that LSU will face this year.  In LSU's opening game against North Carolina, LSU will face four of the best defensive players in college football: Bruce Carter (LB), Robert Quin (DE), Marvin Austin (DT), and Quan Sturdivant (LB).  Alabama has three players on the Nagurski list: Mark Barron (S), Marcell Dareus (DE), and Dont'a Hightower (LB).  LSU will face five other teams that have one player considered among the best defensive players in college football when they face:  West Virginia (Robert Sands), Vanderbilt (LB-Chris Marve), Florida (Janoris Jenkins), Ole Miss (DT-Jerrell Powe), and Auburn (LB-Craig Stevens).  In 7 of the games that LSU plays in 2010 the Tigers will face at least one defensive player considered to be one of the best defenders in college football.

Patrick Peterson and Kelvin Shepard are also on the Lott watch list that includes 5 of their opponent's players:  Duenta Williams and Robert Quin from North Carolina, Alabama's Mark Barron, Florida's A.J. Jones and West Virginia's J.T. Thomas.

Finally, LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis has been named to the Outland Award watch list that includes college footballs best defensive tackles, and offensive linemen.  There are 7 offensive linemen and 3 defensive tackles that LSU will face from this list. The three defensive tackles are North Carolina's Marvin Austin, Florida's Omar Hunter, and Ole Miss's Jerrell Powe.

After looking at these award watch lists, two points should be clear:  1. LSU will face some outstanding defensive players this year and 2. LSU has not loaded up with weak out-of-conference opponents this year.  When LSU faces North Carolina and West Virginia in the first and fourth games of the season, they will be playing against top caliber players similar to what they will see each week in the SEC.      


Anonymous said...

LSU always plays this caliber of talent and fans still get upset when we lose by a couple of points to on of these teams stocked with these guys.

LSURocks said...

Bob, I clicked on the link above the article to your other articles and I must say you are the eternal optimist. I'm with you Bob! The season has not started. We are undefeated and we very well could stay undefeated all year.

Anonymous said...

Picking a good or great defense player, out of all the team LSU will play against this coming year, is something like trying to guess at, will Joe Louis hit me harder the Muhammad Ali.They are both good fighters.
The press is saying this years North Carolina team, is loaded with first round NFL draft pick,and that LSU is in for a very hard game.
So I am not going no further then the NC game...NC Bruce Carter 4.39 in the 40 yr,great linebacker..And some good defense(names I am not familiar with) lineman that I was told, that are the realo deal.So
LSU better not worry about how good the defense players are on the other team beside NC for now.

Anonymous said...

WOW! We better not hear people harp on how weak our nc schedule is this year. yeah we play McNeese St. and ULM but UNC and West Vir more than balance that. Hey, didn't Saban's mighty Bama team lose to ULM a couple years age?

Anonymous said...

Good defense players are one thing,but who has the best defense football team,that what really matters...One great defense player is not going to beat LSU.
But a good defense football (team) that plays good defense will.

Anonymous said...

UNC has *SIX* of eleven defensive players on watch lists. Un. Real.

LSU was what, 109th in the nation in offense last year?

UNC is treating this game as the ACC-SEC Superbowl btw. In ACC land, they're beyond sick of hearing how great the SEC is, how inferior the ACC is, and from all reports, UNC is absolutely jacked for this game.

LSU is in trouble in this one.

Anonymous said...

When the Tigers win any one of these games against these top players yall better give em their credit!

Anonymous said...

I'll be shocked if LSU can win 7 games this year. With the schedule and the quarterback situation it could be a very difficult year for the Tigers. UNC, WV plus at Forida at Arkansas at Auburn then Alabama at home, I just don't see it happening this year. One other issue I have is Les Miles on the sideline. Good players win games, but great coaches win the close ones.

Anonymous said...

John Wooden once said "While its the sign of a good team to win close games, its the sign of a great team to not get involved in them".

LSU is a maybe against UNC, WV, OM, Auburn and mark down losses against Ark., Ala., UF.,

LSU has offensive capacity to score maybe 3 TD's per game on offense so long as Miles runs backs into the pile whenever he cant think of anything else to do and Crowton cant find a pass in the book deeper than 5 yds downfield.

So, how do you beat Ark with a good offense, Bama with the Heisman Trophy being held by its second best back, and UF with the qb that LSU fans says isnt necessary, after all, we just are so good all we need is someone to 'manage' the game. (Heard that one for three yrs now).

UNC wont let LSU get 17 pts, WV either. The question is, can on CB and a LB stop another team from doing more? We wont blitz much, we'll wait for a dominating rush before we can 'risk it'. That'll never happen cause Dorsey et al arent there anymore.

Its going to be average play calling risk minimization and a lot of excuses why the O-line cant get it done.

Reminds me of the White House press conference talking about 'saved jobs'. Dont worry we lost 5 million, we saved 3 million. Its not that we dont throw downfield enough, we cant until we establish the run...

Go Bo... errr Miles

SMASHER said...

LSU under Miles is going to be fine. LSU has facilities second to none, outstanding recruiting classes every year & great coaches. The games LSU has lost the last 2 seasons have been in the 4th quarter. No one has blown LSU out. The reality is no school in the SEC will win a championship every year. What you want is your team to be able to compete and everytime LSU steps on the field they are ready to compete with a chance to win. like I said, LSU will be in good shape for years to come.

Bill said...

As good as NC's defense was, they went 8-5 because their offense sucked, and it sucked against some mediocre ACC defenses. At least our offense sucked against several good defenses.

Their offense is supposed to suck again.

We'll win because their offense will struggle more against our D than ours will against theirs.

Anonymous said...

Losing is not a option in the first LSU college football game in Atlanta.
The tiger pride will get hurt, and the excitement will leave the fans in tiger stadium if LSU loses to North Carolina...The Hat better win.

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