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Saturday, December 29, 2012
Tiger Tale: Craig Loston

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. We'll examine how he has done and what his challenges are for the Clemson game.

Craig Loston, S, Junior

Craig Loston
Safety Craig Loston was fifth on the LSU defense with 48 tackles and had three interceptions in 2012.
Accomplishments: Loston's biggest accomplishment this year is that he's stayed relatively healthy, something he hadn't been able to do in his first three years in Baton Rouge. Starting at strong safety, he finished the regular season with 48 tackles, fifth on the team, and was second on the team with three interceptions. He had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown against Mississippi State. As a run stopper, Loston brings a linebacker-like physicality.

Shortcomings: One might note that Loston has been "relatively" healthy this season, but hardly the picture of health. He's missed one game with injury and has been hobbled by others, continuing what has been a litany of health issues throughout his career. When a recurring toe injury bothers him, he can be a step slow in the secondary, although at full speed he's plenty fast enough.

Against Clemson: If Clemson tries to find a coverage weakness, they may test Loston and his mobility. If he's healthy after a month off, that could be a challenge he's up for. The way Clemson plays offense with Tajh Boyd spreading the field, Loston's going to have to step up his game, especially with Boyd's mobility making it difficult for the Tigers' pass rush.