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Monday, December 17, 2012
Tiger Tale: Kevin Minter

By Gary Laney

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, we'll take a daily look at a key LSU player and examine how he has done and what his challenges are for the Clemson game.


Kevin Minter, LB, Junior

Kevin Minter
Linebacker Kevin Minter was the defensive leader for the Tigers in 2012.
Accomplishments: LSU's newly minted most valuable player (he won the award at the team banquet Sunday) leads the team in tackles (111) and tackles for loss (13.5). With five more stops against Clemson, he'll have the most prolific tackling season of the Les Miles era (Kelvin Sheppard had 116 tackles in 2010). A second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC player, he gave leadership to a young group of linebackers and helped turn a perceived weakness into a strength for the Tigers. His 20 tackles against Florida included a school-record 17 solo stops.

Shortcomings: They're hard to find in what was an increasingly all-around resume at his position. Minter defends passes, is effective as a blitzer and sound in run defense. A shortcoming to LSU fans, if you want to call it a shortcoming, is he might not come back. While most draft predictors put him in the 2014 draft class, where he might be the top linebacker coming out, Minter graduated last week and might not have incentive to come back for a senior season with a degree already in hand.

Against Clemson: This doesn't seem like Minter's kind of game with Clemson likely to lean on a high-powered passing attack. But Minter has held his own as a pass defender and as a pass rusher, so expect him to make an impact in his season, and perhaps career, finale.