Junior cornerbacks Kevin Toliver II and Donte Jackson will forego their senior seasons going to the NFL draft, leaving big shoes to fill within LSU’s secondary.
Toliver II and Jackson played a very big role in the Tigers defense last season, combining for 20 pass breakups, 77 total tackles and three interceptions.
Toliver II played in 12 of the Tigers 13 games, and started in five of them, with those five starts coming against SEC opponents. Jackson played in all 13 games and started all but one. Jackson was 3rd on the team for solo tackles, and both Jackson and Toliver II were 2nd on the team for pass breakups.
Unlike the running back and wide receiver positions, cornerback will be returning a starter at the position.
Redshirt freshman Andraez “Greedy” Williams started all 13 games for the Tigers last year, and possibly made the biggest impact of any freshmen on the team. Williams accounted for 38 total tackles, a team-leading six interceptions and 11 pass breakups.
Considering his performance last year, all signs point to Williams starting at cornerback in 2018. The question is, who will start opposite of him?
Of the returning candidates, freshmen Kary Vincent Jr. has the most gametime experience, playing in 11 games and starting three.
Vincent Jr. recorded nine total tackles along with one pass breakup. Vincent Jr. was one of the top prospects in Texas for the class of 2017, which is saying something considering the amount of talent that comes from the state.
Vincent Jr. played mainly as nickelback, but could see major playing time next season as a starting corner.
Playing mainly on special teams, freshman Jontre Kirklin played in all but one game last season, but had just two total tackles all season.
However, Kirklin’s athleticism cannot be overstated, as he was one of the top athletes from Louisiana in the class of 2017. Kirklin will need to show improvement with his technique at the cornerback position in the spring to really challenge for the second corner starting spot.
A name that many may remember hearing during the 2016 recruiting season, sophomore Kristian Fulton was a five-star prospect and one of the top overall prospects in the nation.
He saw limited action during his freshman season, and was one of the 13 players that did not travel for the season opener against BYU.
Fulton did not appear in any games last season, and it’s unknown why he didn’t play. With that being said, if Fulton does get the chance to play next season, expect him to have multiple opportunities to show why he was a five-star prospect.
As of right now, those are the potential candidates for the other starting corner spot for the 2018 season. However, LSU is currently the favorite to land the top cornerback in the class of 2018, Patrick Surtain Jr.
By all accounts, Surtain Jr. is expected to sign with the Tigers on national signing day on Feb. 7.
But until then, his status is still up in the air, and however unlikely, it’s possible Surtain Jr. changes his mind between now and Feb. 7. If he does sign with LSU, he will have the inside track to start opposite of Williams.