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Through the first month of the season, LSU cornerbacks Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne both find themselves in a position no one thought they would be in, on or passed the talent level of 2011 fifth overall pick and former Tiger CB Patrick Peterson. Both players’ performances thus far have them in contention for both the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik Awards for the nation's top defensive player.
For Morris Claiborne, 2011 has been a dream season to go along with a tremendous sophomore campaign in 2010. Claiborne comes in with two interceptions and 22 tackles after just five games. He has also successfully utilized his strength and speed to discourage opposing quarterbacks from throwing in his direction.
Tyrann Mathieu, the other star cornerback is a player who is successful in all facets of the game. Whether it is returning kicks, defending passes, hitting receivers or battling for possession, Mathieu has it down to near perfection. Mathieu's overall stats through five weeks are impressive, boasting 121 all purpose yards, two touchdowns, three fumble recoveries, one interception, 35 tackles, four tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks and four pass deflections.
That is an impressive stat line for a first-year starter as a sophomore coming off a big freshman year as a reserve. Mathieu seems to be LSU's biggest opportunity at fielding a Heisman candidate on the year.
After Morris Claiborne and Patrick Peterson were deemed one of the most lethal cornerback combinations in history last season, Mathieu and Claiborne can't be far behind. The overall talent that is split between the two corners is unbelievable and has them as winners on this list.