Already a star, Tharold Simon now starter 

August, 3, 2012
8/03/12
3:49
PM ET
When one breaks down the 15 returning starters on LSU's football teams, the list does not include junior cornerback Tharold Simon, a fact that may cause one to do a double take.

[+] EnlargeTharold Simon
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezLSU cornerback Tharold Simon is expected to have an even bigger impact in 2012.
Simon emerged as a one of the team's rising stars last season as LSU's third cornerback, a backup role that plays almost starter-level snaps. He led the team with 10 pass break ups, tied for second on the team with two interceptions and tied for the team lead with 12 passes defended.

With so many teams playing multiple wide receivers -- either because of a spread scheme or because LSU's potent defense forces so many long-yardage situations -- the Tigers often go to the third cornerback, and fifth defensive back in total, to boost the coverage schemes. That allowed Simon to log plenty of snaps last season.
Defense Stars In LSU Victory
LSU's defense is rounding into shape just in time for the Tigers to begin SEC play.
VIDEO PLAYLIST video