LSU ‘corners’ market on All-America spots
Posted: Thursday, December 15, 2011 7:02 pm
By RALPH D. RUSSO
College Football Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne became the first cornerback teammates to lock down spots on the AP All-America team.
Mathieu, a Heisman Trophy finalist, and Claiborne were joined on the All-America team by Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III of Baylor and finalists Montee Ball of Wisconsin and Trent Richardson of Alabama.
Heisman runner-up Andrew Luck from Stanford was the second-team quarterback.
The team released Wednesday was selected by a panel of 16 AP poll voters.
The No. 2-ranked Crim-son Tide had the most first-teamers with four. Richardson was joined by tackle Barrett Jones, linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Mark Barron. Tide linebackers Courtney Upshaw and cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick also made the second team, leaving Alabama tied with No. 3 Oklahoma State for the most players selected overall.
The LSU duo was joined on the first team by Tigers punter Brad Wing. LSU guard Will Blackwell was a second-team selection and defensive end Sam Montgomery made the third team.
The top-ranked Tigers will play SEC West rival Alabama on Jan. 9 in New Orleans for the BCS title.
Since the AP began selecting both an offensive and defensive team in 1964, no team had put a pair of cornerbacks on the first team. Of course, few teams have had two cornerbacks as talented as Mathieu and Claiborne.
Mathieu, also known as Honey Badger, has been a mayhem-maker for LSU on defense and special teams. He forced five fumbles, intercepted two passes and scored four touchdowns — two on punt returns, two on fumble returns. The 5-foot-9, 180-pound sophomore also had 71 tackles and was versatile enough to be moved around the defense at times. Published in The Messenger 12.15.11