Wednesday, January 2, 2013
LSU 10: Final
By Gary Laney
BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU finished a disappointing 10-3 and probably out of the Top 10 after a 25-24 loss to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. There were, however, plenty of good performances in a season that ended disappointing, but was 14 points away from being an unbeaten one. Here are the best Tigers this season:
Kevin Minter finished with 130 tackles in a stellar season.
1. LB Kevin Minter: The team MVP had the most tackles of any player in the Les Miles era with 130, including a team-high 15 for loss. The junior, who already has a degree, looks ready for pro ball.
2. DE Sam Montgomery: Finished with team highs in sacks (eight) and tackles for loss (13). He was a disruptive force on a talented defensive line who, like Minter, appears NFL-ready at the end of his junior season.
3. Jeremy Hill: Came on at mid-season and rushed for a team-high 755 yards on 142 carries with an LSU freshman-record 12 touchdowns. He finished the season as one of the nation's top freshmen rushers.
4. Eric Reid: Another junior likely bound for the NFL, Reid led the LSU secondary with 91 tackles and two interceptions to go with nine total passes defended. A solid leader in the Tigers young secondary.
5. DT Bennie Logan: Yet another draft-eligible junior, Logan had 45 tackles, 5.5 tackles for loss and two blocked kicks, including an point-after he snuffed out in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. He was a solid run-stopper in the middle of the Tigers line.
6. WR Jarvis Landry: LSU's leader in receptions (56) and touchdown receptions (five), he emerged as quarterback Zach Mettenberger's go-to receiver late in the season.
7. OT Josh Dworaczyk: The sixth-year senior anchored a revamped offensive line that was solid in the second half of the season until a poor outing against Clemson.
8. WR Odell Beckham: The Tigers' big-play threat had team-high 713 yards receiving and added a team-high 320 yards and two touchdowns on punt returns. That he didn't have more receptions (43) was a bit disappointing, but his big-play capability (16.6 yards per catch) is undeniable.
9. LB Lamin Barrow: Minter was not the only 100-tackle Tiger. Barrow had 104 tackles, 7.5 for loss, and helped form one of the SEC's best LB tandems.
10. QB Zach Mettenberger: A late-season surge was hampered by a mediocre bowl performance, but he finished with decent numbers (2,609 passing yards, 12 touchdowns, seven interceptions).