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BATON ROUGE – Two standout defenders on LSU’s Southeastern Conference Championship team have opted to forgo their remaining eligibility with the Tigers as cornerback Morris Claiborne and defensive tackle Michael Brockers have declared for the NFL Draft.
Claiborne and Brockers, along with head coach Les Miles, made the announcement this afternoon on the LSU campus.
“There are different times for guys to leave our program and the things that both of these men have done is have consistent growth as people and as student-athletes academically,” Miles said. “Both men have been very humble in their approach to learning football. It started at a level much less to the level they are at now. They improved and improved and became tremendously competitive. They have put themselves in a position to enter the NFL Draft early at an advantaged position.”
“Mo is expected to be in the top 10 players if not in the top five players selected in the NFL Draft. The opportunity to improve his draft position really doesn’t exist. I think Michael Brockers has the potential to improve his overall draft position but is making in my opinion a decision that allows him to fulfill an obligation to his family. Both men have done everything we have asked them to do, and they have both represented this program in an exemplary way both on and off the field. We are going to miss them.
They are quality men. I have been fortunate to call up a huddle with these guys in it. I can tell you that their teammates will miss them as well.”
Claiborne, who is projected to be the first cornerback taken in the NFL Draft, earned numerous awards this year as a junior, including the Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back. Claiborne was also a consensus All-America as well as being named the Southeastern Conference Defensive Player of the Year as voted on by the league’s coaches.
“I want to thank Coach Miles and all the things he has done for me, him coming to my house recruiting me and giving me the opportunity to be here and get a good education here at LSU,” Claiborne said. “My teammates have been awesome this year. We had a great year and we have nothing to hang our heads down on. The coaches have done a good job with helping us achieve our goals.
“We came up a little short at the end but its football and you can’t win them all. We have a great program at LSU. I am sad about leaving but you only get this opportunity once in a life time.”
For the season, Claiborne finished with 51 tackles, six interceptions and six pass breakups. He also led the nation in interception return yardage with 173. He also returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown in the win over West Virginia.
Brockers, a second-team All-SEC selection in 2011, ranked among the team leaders in tackles for loss (10.0). He had 54 total tackles, 2.0 sacks and four quarterback hurries. He also blocked a field goal against Alabama in the national title game.
“I want to thank the coaching staff, the trainers, the equipment managers and everyone that has helped me along my journey at LSU,” Brockers said. “Thanks to the fans too, they have been great this year. We came up short but there is no reason to hang your head down. We were 13-0 in the regular season, got the SEC championship, we beat the national champions once and we had an amazing season all the way around.
“I want to thank everyone at LSU and everyone who has helped me. It has been an amazing season and my time at LSU has been great. I will be a Tiger for life.”



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