Who would replace LSU’s starting cornerbacks if they leave for NFL?
SEC Country reporter Alex Hickey will answer your LSU Tigers sports queries each weekday in our LSU Question of the Day. Join the conversation by sending your questions via Twitter to @SECCountryLSU, @bigahickey or by email to Alex at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Question of the Day: Monday, Dec. 11
Welcome to a new week of questions, which starts with one that we currently have no ability to answer: Will starting cornerbacks Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver both declare for the NFL draft?
Not many people outside of those two know the answer to that at the moment, but as of midseason Ed Orgeron was already recruiting under the assumption that neither will be back next year. I don’t necessarily expect that to be the case, but we will operate under that premise for our question from the accurately named LSU Superfan.
Who do you see stepping up at cornerback next year if both Donte Jackson and Kevin Toliver declare for the draft
— LSUSuperfan (@LSUSuperfan337) December 11, 2017
Fortunately, cornerback is a position where the Tigers have little reason to panic. Greedy Williams has already proven himself, becoming the first LSU freshman defensive player to be named first-team All-SEC. Williams was also a third-team All-American with 5 interceptions and 10 pass breakups.
Thanks to his emergence, LSU frequently shifted Jackson to safety when it was in a base 3-4 defense.
Though he is primarily seen as the nickel back of the future, freshman Kary Vincent Jr. would be in the mix to play opposite Williams should both Jackson and Toliver declare for the draft. Vincent had one of the most acrobatic plays of the LSU season, snagging a one-handed interception against Chattanooga. It just became difficult for him to get back onto the field because the three guys ahead of him were playing so well.
Jontre Kirklin, who was primarily a special-teams player as a freshman, would also be in that mix. Also, don’t sleep on Kristian Fulton, a former 5-star prospect. If Fulton elects to stay at LSU, he will finally get his chance next season if Jackson and/or Toliver depart.
And those are just the guys who are currently on the roster. LSU has a shot with Pat Surtain Jr., the nation’s top-ranked prep cornerback. The Tigers also have a chance with Anthony Cook, the No. 5 cornerback in the country. Those two could potentially compete for a starting job at cornerback.
Whether Jackson and Toliver both stay, both leave, or one stays, this is a position where LSU has very little to worry about next season.
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