Darius Slay: Video Highlights for Former Mississippi State Cornerback

Oliver Thomas@OliverBThomasContributor IApril 26, 2013

Darius Slay: Video Highlights for Former Mississippi State Cornerback

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    Mississippi State's Darius Slay has emerged as one of the top cornerbacks in the nation over the past two years.

    The 6'0", 192-pounder accumulated 40 tackles, six interceptions, two pick-sixes and 10 pass deflections since joining the Bulldogs in 2011. His aggressive play across from fellow cornerback prospect Johnthan Banks did not go unnoticed, either.

    Slay was invited to participate at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. He did not disappoint. No. 9 ran a 4.36 40-yard dashthe best time among cornerbacks. 

    While Slay stands out on the stopwatch, what's more important is that he stands out on the football field.

    So without further ado, let's take a look at Slay's top moments during his time in the Mississippi State secondary.

First Interception as a Bulldog vs. Georgia in 2011

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    On Oct. 1, 2011, Slay, who wore No. 47 at the time, recorded his first career interception as a Mississippi State Bulldog.

    Down 24-3 in the fourth quarter, Slay jumped in front of an Aaron Murray pass. Ball in hand, he tiptoed the sideline, squeaking by Georgia's entire offensive line on his way to the end zone on a 72-yard return.

    Mississippi State ended up losing the game, 24-10, but Slay was responsible for the team's only touchdown of the afternoon.

52-Yard Pick-Six vs. Jackson State

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    Slay made the most of the 2012 season opener versus Jackson State of the Football Championship Subdivision.

    Looking to build on a 28-0 lead in the third quarter, Slay dropped back in coverage and read the quarterback's eyes. He stopped his backpedal and jumped the route; moments later, he was returning an interception 52 yards for a touchdown.

    Slay's instincts and burst were on display in this September 1 tilt. His electrifying return helped the Bulldogs start the year on a good note.

End-Zone Interception vs. Auburn

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    A week after notching a pick versus Jackson State, Slay was at it again against Auburn.

    The Tigers were driving into the red zone during the fourth quarter, looking to avert an 18-point deficit. Slay, however, had other plans.

    The corner dropped back into the end zone and was in the right place to scoop up Kiehl Frazier's pass for his second interception of the year. He ran the ball out and returned it 31 yards. Mississippi State held on to win, 28-10.

Back-to-Back Interceptions vs. Troy

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    Facing the Troy Trojans on September 15, Slay doubled his luck.

    The Bulldogs' defensive back managed to leap up and intercept a long bomb down the center of the field, saving Mississippi State from what could have been a Troy touchdown.

    Shortly thereafter, Slay was at it again. He intercepted Troy's Corey Robinson for a second time as he lunged underneath the ball on a crossing pattern.

    Mississippi State hung on to win, 30-24, and Slay's momentum-killing picks were a big part of it.

Slay Chases Down Texas A&M's Ryan Swope

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    Texas A&M wideout Ryan Swope had himself a ballgame versus Mississippi State on November 3. He finished with nine catches for 121 yards.

    He would have racked up even more yardage if it weren't for Slay.

    Swope ran a dig route during the third quarter and caught a quick checkdown pass from Johnny Manziel. The receiver proceeded to follow his blocks and gain steam down the field. He broke two tackles, but he wouldn't break a third.

    Slay chased Swope down and wrapped him up in the open field. He could have easily gone the distance otherwise.

    Texas A&M went on to beat Mississippi State convincingly, 38-13. But Slay's determination to stop Swope stuck out as a never-quit moment for the Bulldog.

Slay Breaks Up Touchdown vs. LSU

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    Slay showed more than athleticism against LSU on November 10; he showed relentlessness.

    Despite getting beat on a back corner fade from Zach Mettenberger to Kadron Boone, Slay didn't give up on the play.

    The corner throttled the football out of Boone's hands before the wide receiver could get his feet down in the end zone. That last-second effort kept the Tigers from adding an easy six.

    The pass breakup wasn't flashy, it was just effective. Mississippi State went on to lose that game, 37-17, but there's something to be said for stick-to-itiveness.

Press Coverage Interception vs. Arkansas

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    The Bulldogs left a mark on Arkansas during the November 17 SEC showdown, and Slay left his mark as well.

    Trailing by 24 points, Razorbacks quarterback Tyler Wilson threw in the direction of Slay's press coverage. Slay disengaged from his jam, pursued the ball and came up with the interception.

    He made several defenders miss on his west-to-east return, netting 15 yards in the process.

    The Mississippi State Bulldogs ended up getting the victory, 45-14.