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2015 NFL DRAFT

Morris Claiborne, CB

School: LSU  |  Conference: SEC
College Experience: Junior  |  Hometown: Shreveport, LA
Height/Weight: 5-11 / 188 lbs.
Projected Ranking
OverallPositionProj. Rnd.
511
Latest News
04/29/2012 - If getting what you want, sticking to your board while filling needs and taking your kind of guys constitute a good draft, then that's exactly what the Cowboys accomplished with their seven picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. They hit a home run on opening day with the trade up for LSU shutdown cornerback Morris Claiborne. They then continued the momentum by taking four straight defenders and five overall in an attempt to upgrade a unit that contributed to five blown fourth-quarter leads last season, including an NFL record three of 12 points or more. BEST PICK: Cornerback Morris Claiborne: The Cowboys wanted cornerback Mo Claiborne so bad that they gave up a second-round pick to move from 14th to sixth in the first round. Claiborne was the highest ranked defensive player on their draft board and the second highest rated player. According to owner Jerry Jones he graded out as the highest cornerback prospect since Deion Sanders. That's important because the Cowboys were not just looking for a cover guy they wanted a playmaker to help improve a secondary that gave up more passing yards than any other time in team history. - The Sports Xchange

04/29/2012 - Cornerback Morris Claiborne received a lot attention before the NFL Draft because he scored a 4 on the Wonderlic Aptitude Test at the combine. Claiborne said it had nothing to do with football and he simply blew it off. He said it didn't reflect what type of person he was or what type of player he was. It clearly didn't hurt his draft stock. "All the talk that I was hearing about the Wonderlic is that it's just not that important," he said. "Everybody I talked to, even coaches and all, they were like, 'That test doesn't mean nothing. That test is not going to declare where you go in the draft or nothing like that.' So if they don't have any football on there, I'm here for football, so what?" - The Sports Xchange

04/29/2012 - Claiborne is the team's highest pick since they took Newman fifth overall in 2003. It was Jones' 59th draft-day trade since 1989, the 18th involving a first-round pick. Claiborne, 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, was first-team All-American in 2011 and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back. He had 11 interceptions the past two years, including six in 2011. He is also a standout kickoff returner. "We said before the draft the only player we had an interest in moving up to get was Claiborne," Jones said. "We had serious doubts he would get to six. But then the opportunity presented itself and they started taking players in front of him and the price was right for us. To go from 14 to six, you got give up something. By a lot of charts you got to give up more. To a get a difference maker on defense, we pulled the trigger." - The Sports Xchange

04/29/2012 - Jones said Claiborne is the continuation of a long process of trying to improve a horrid secondary and Cowboys pass defense which gave up more passing yards the past two seasons than any time in team history. The Cowboys signed Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million contract in the offseason and now have added best defensive player in the draft. "We've been needing to work on the secondary," Jones said. "When Wade (Phillips) was (coach), I talked to Wade about it. This is not something that's new. We had hoped upon hope and certainly (defensive coordinator) Rob (Ryan) had hoped with the head of the pack that Terence (Newman) could really be what we wanted him to be. So obviously that didn't work out. That's just the way it is. But I like the way we've come back." The Cowboys now have a crowded secondary with Carr, Claiborne, former starter Mike Jenkins, a 2008 first-round pick and former Pro Bowler, to go along with nickel back Orlando Scandrick. Coach Jason Garrett said all will play, although the Cowboys could move Jenkins before the season. He said Claiborne is a difference maker worth the gamble. "Cornerback is a premium position," Garrett said. "We feel to add a guy like this was the right thing to do. He has instincts. He has vision. He has the ability to make plays. He is a game-changing playmaker. He can make plays on the ball and change the game. He is also an outstanding kickoff returner. That is certainly another part of why he is an attractive player." - The Sports Xchange

04/29/2012 - Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went back to his gambling swashbuckling days in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft with an impressive trade with the St. Louis Rams, enabling Dallas to move from No. 14 overall to No. 6 to take standout LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Jones said Claiborne was the second best player on the Cowboys' draft board behind quarterback Andrew Luck and the highest-rated cornerback by the team since Deion Sanders. The Cowboys traded the 14th pick and the 45th overall (second round) to move up to select Claiborne. "He is the best cornerback prospect our scouts have graded since Deion," Jones said. "He is a difference maker." Claiborne underwent surgery last month repair a torn ligament in his left wrist. He will be ready to go for training camp but will miss organized team activities and the minicamp in June. Claiborne said he will be ready for training camp. "They sacrificed a lot to come down to get me, but I feel like I'm worth it," Claiborne said. "I know my talents. I know what kind of guy they're looking for. They want me to come in and play right away and be a lock down guy, and I feel like in the right hands, which I am, I feel like I can come in right away and do that." - The Sports Xchange

04/29/2012 - A closer look at the Cowboys' picks: Round 1/6 - Morris Claiborne, CB, 5-11, 188, Louisiana State...Claiborne is a playmaker who combined with free-agent signee Brandon Carr has turned a weak position into a strength. He is a potential star. - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - TEN SURPRISES FROM ROUND ONE: 8. Dallas Cowboys Cowboys trade up for Morris Claiborne: The Cowboys have been linked to an SEC defensive back as the draft approached but it was with Alabama safety Mark Barron rather than a cornerback. With the Cowboys obviously gearing up to defend the three and four receivers sets taking over the NFL, the addition of Claiborne, along with free agent addition Brandon Carr gives Dallas a secondary that could be frightening. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/27/2012 - 2012 NFL DRAFT: PICK-BY-PICK ANALYSIS: 6. Dallas Cowboys (draft-day trade with St. Louis, The Cowboys acquired the No. 6 pick from the St. Louis Rams for the 14th overall pick and their 2012 second-round pick (45).): CB Morris Claiborne, LSU -- The Cowboys spent $50 million to land free agent cornerback Brandon Carr and then parted with their top two picks in 2012 to land Claiborne, a smooth, athletic lead cornerback who can also spark the return game. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - Jones said Claiborne is the continuation of a long process of trying to improve a horrid secondary and Cowboys pass defense which gave up more passing yards the past two seasons than any time in team history. The Cowboys signed Brandon Carr to a five-year, $50.1 million contract in the offseason and now have added best defensive player in the draft. "We've been needing to work on the secondary," Jones said. "When Wade (Phillips) was (coach), I talked to Wade about it. This is not something that's new. We had hoped upon hope and certainly (defensive coordinator) Rob (Ryan) had hoped with the head of the pack that Terence (Newman) could really be what we wanted him to be. So obviously that didn't work out. That's just the way it is. But I like the way we've come back." The Cowboys now have a crowded secondary with Carr, Claiborne, former starter Mike Jenkins, a 2008 first-round pick and former Pro Bowler, to go along with nickel back Orlando Scandrick. Coach Jason Garrett said all will play, although the Cowboys could move Jenkins before the season. He said Claiborne is a difference maker worth the gamble. "Cornerback is a premium position," Garrett said. "We feel to add a guy like this was the right thing to do. He has instincts. He has vision. He has the ability to make plays. He is a game-changing playmaker. He can make plays on the ball and change the game. He is also an outstanding kickoff returner. That is certainly another part of why he is an attractive player." - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - Cowboys owner Jerry Jones went back to his gambling swashbuckling days in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft with an impressive trade with the St. Louis Rams, enabling Dallas to move from No. 14 overall to No. 6 to take standout LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Jones said Claiborne was the second best player on the Cowboys' draft board behind quarterback Andrew Luck and the highest-rated cornerback by the team since Deion Sanders. The Cowboys traded the 14th pick and the 45th overall (second round) to move up to select Claiborne. "He is the best cornerback prospect our scouts have graded since Deion," Jones said. "He is a difference maker." Claiborne underwent surgery last month repair a torn ligament in his left wrist. He will be ready to go for training camp but will miss organized team activities and the minicamp in June. Claiborne said he will be ready for training camp. "They sacrificed a lot to come down to get me, but I feel like I'm worth it," Claiborne said. "I know my talents. I know what kind of guy they're looking for. They want me to come in and play right away and be a lock down guy, and I feel like in the right hands, which I am, I feel like I can come in right away and do that." - The Sports Xchange

04/27/2012 - Claiborne is the team's highest pick since they took Newman fifth overall in 2003. It was Jones' 59th draft-day trade since 1989, the 18th involving a first-round pick. Claiborne, 5-foot-11, 188 pounds, was first-team All-American in 2011 and won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's best defensive back. He had 11 interceptions the past two years, including six in 2011. He is also a standout kickoff returner. "We said before the draft the only player we had an interest in moving up to get was Claiborne," Jones said. "We had serious doubts he would get to six. But then the opportunity presented itself and they started taking players in front of him and the price was right for us. To go from 14 to six, you got give up something. By a lot of charts you got to give up more. To a get a difference maker on defense, we pulled the trigger." - The Sports Xchange

04/26/2012 - ROB RANG'S TOP 50 PLAYERS OF THE 2012 NFL DRAFT: 5. Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU*: As if a dominating 2011 season in which he was recognized as the nation's top defensive back with the Jim Thorpe Award didn't demonstrate his athleticism clearly enough, Claiborne erased any concerns about his straight-line speed by clocking in at 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash during his March 22 Pro Day. The bigger news was that Claiborne that came from the workout was that Claiborne had to undergo surgery on his wrist to repair a torn ligament, which is of more concern than reports of a low score on the Wonderlic test. The injury won't keep him from playing next season and neither should impact his draft stock. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

04/23/2012 - Morris Claiborne is in for the week of his life, and the whirlwind ahead surprises no one more than his mother, Opal. Sure, she's a typical mother: she loves her son unconditionally and is unmistakably supportive. She just didn't think he'd become a millionaire by playing football. "(As a kid), he was always beat, beat, beating on something, so I thought he was going to be in the band," Opal Claiborne said. Today, her soft-spoken son, a product of Fair Park High School and LSU, heads to New York City to begin the 2012 NFL Draft festivities. Thursday, the 22-year-old is expected to hit a jackpot that could offer nearly $20 million - just for starters - made possible, ironically enough, because he has a reputation of never getting beat. Shreveport's shut-down cornerback is projected to be a top-five pick and as high as No. 3, meaning he's likely to become the city's second-highest NFL Draft selection of all-time (Woodlawn's Terry Bradshaw was No. 1 in 1970). Claiborne's journey to the Big Apple concludes what's been an exhausting four months for the reigning Jim Thorpe Award (best college defensive back in the nation) winner. Since Claiborne's final appearance for the LSU Tigers, the BCS National Championship Game in New Orleans, he's been busy with training, the NFL Combine, media obligations, meetings with prospective NFL teams and being a father. "A lot of people are pulling on you," Claiborne said. "But I'm taking it one day at a time, taking things in stride and enjoying the process." - Roy Lang III, The Shreveport Times

04/12/2012 - LSU Coach Les Miles has become the latest Tiger to declare for the NFL draft - the draft broadcast, that is. Miles will serve as an analyst for the NFL Network's broadcast of the draft on its final day, April 28, and will be featured in interviews on April 26-27, according to LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette. LSU cornerback Morris CLaiborne, expected to be a top 10 pick, invited Miles to accompany him to the draft and later the NFL Network extended an invitation to provide expert analysis. Claiborne is one of three LSU players, along with defenisve tackle Michael Brockers and wide receiver Rueben Randle, who could be first round picks. Miles has coached eight LSU players who eventually were drafted in the first round. He will join host Rich Eisen and analyst Michael Irvin for the draft broadcast. - Jim Kleinpeter, The Times Picayune

04/09/2012 - 2012 NFL COMBINE MEDICAL RECHECK: CB Morris Claiborne, LSU (5-11, 188): Claiborne underwent surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left wrist March 23, a day after working out for scouts at LSU's pro day. The rehabilitation isn't likely to knock Claiborne off his perch atop the cornerback rankings and as a likely top-six pick in the draft, but doctors will want to make sure the wrist is healing as expected. - Frank Cooney, NFLDraftScout.com

04/06/2012 - Heckert still holds out the possibility the Browns could use the fourth draft pick on LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne. Heckert said he knew of the wrist surgery Claiborne was to have before the top-ranked cornerback had it last month. Heckert is not concerned about it, but the Browns did schedule Claiborne for a visit. - The Sports Xchange

04/06/2012 - The Vikings won't know exactly how far they'll be willing to trade down until they come out of their nine-day stretch of full-organizational draft meetings. Spielman assigns color codes to all prospects. A "blue" player is one that's expected to make the Pro Bowl. A "red" player is one that's expected to be a starter. At the end of those nine days of draft meetings, Spielman will have a better grasp on just how many blue players are at the top of this first round. "The thing you have to be careful about is once we get all these guys graded and you're in that blue range where we're picking, how far do you trade back before you're out of that blue area and into the red?" Spielman said. "Now, if a deal is too good to pass up and you're going to get `X' amount of draft picks that are going to set you up for your future, not only this year but down the road, you also have to consider that, too. That's how you look at this thing: how far do you go back and do you pass a possibly blue to get as many picks as you can. That's tough, but on the other side, you can really set up your organization for the future. Similar to what St. Louis did with (trading the No. 2 pick to) Washington." - The Sports Xchange

04/06/2012 - Former LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne has fired back at critics, saying he would be the winner in the long run even if he did score a dismal 4 out of 50 in the NFL Combine's Wonderlic test. Claiborne is projected as a top 5 pick in this month's NFL Draft. He has come under criticism this week after the results of the test were leaked. Profootballtalk.com did some research and found that players with such disabilities are accommodated if a request is made in advance. It is not known if Claiborne sought such accommodation. USA Today reports that Claiborne's agent, Bus Cook, has denied that his client suffers from a learning disability. Claiborne addressed his critics Wednesday, saying, "At the end of the day I will be a top 10 pick!" He added that the public understanding of the test and its uses is limited. He exclaimed that "haters" will have to do more than criticize his test scores to bring him down, adding a smiley face and a row of dollar symbols. He added, "You guys don't no me #Top10". The Associated Press obtained the memo, which was sent on Wednesday night after reports that LSU defensive back Morris Claiborne allegedly scored poorly on the Wonderlic test. The exam is used by NFL teams to try to gauge a prospect's intelligence, problem-solving ability and cognitive skills. League rules prohibit officials from disclosing the results, but scores have routinely been leaked for years. In his memo, Goodell stresses that Wonderlic scores, personal and family histories and drug tests are to be kept strictly confidential. He writes that disclosing that kind of information "can be extremely damaging to players, clubs, and the league." - Kirk Michelet, KSLA-TV 12 News

04/05/2012 - The score of "4" that LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne reportedly registered on the Wonderlic test hasn't scared off many teams. "We're not all that worried about it," said the defensive coordinator of a team with a top 10 choice. "He's got great (cornerback) instincts, better than (2011 first-rounder Patrick) Peterson, even, and it's not going to be a huge problem." But it did cause enough concern with one club intrigued by the idea of perhaps trading up to get Claiborne that the franchise has made some quick phone calls to LSU assistants to gauge whether the star corner has any problems with understanding defenses. - Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange

04/05/2012 - NFL commissioner Roger Goodell reminded all 32 teams in a memo distributed Wednesday night that league roles prohibit teams and their employees from releasing confidential information regarding draft prospects. The memo comes two days after ProFootballTalk.com published a report, citing an unnamed source, that LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne had scored well below average on the Wonderlic test. Claiborne, the No. 1-ranked cornerback and one of the top six players in the 2012 NFL Draft according to nfldraftscout.com, The 12-minute exam includes 50 basic reasoning, problem solving and general intelligance questions. Goodell sent a similar memo in 2011, when Pro Football Weekly and ESPN reported players had failed drug tests at the Scouting Combine. "Be reminded that disclosure of inappropriate private or confidential information concerning draft-eligible players is conduct detrimental to the league and will be met with significant discipline when a violation can be established," the memo reads. Former Bears college scouting director Greg Gabriel ripped the release of the information and said accuracy isn't the only concern in a recent article for NationalFootballPost.com. Gabriel said Claiborne is known to have a learning disability, and thus the internet report on his low test score lacked context and clarity. He also said Claiborne's football intelligence, for which he earns high marks, is what matters. Claiborne's agent, Bus Cook, said the score hasn't been brought up by teams. - Jeff Reynolds, The Sports Xchange

04/05/2012 - Former LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne's dismal score on the NFL Combine's Wonderlic test was leaked this week, renewing debate about the importance of the predraft aptitude test and whether players should even participate. A projected top-five pick in April's draft, Claiborne received a stream of criticism and a smattering of support on his Twitter account, and responded Wednesday. "At the end of the day I will be a top 10 pick!" Claiborne began, adding that the public understanding of the test and its uses is limited. Claiborne exclaimed that "haters" will have to do more than criticize his test scores to bring him down, adding a smiley face and a row of dollar symbols. He added, "You guys don't no me #Top10". Claiborne also retweeted an NFL.com article in which former NFL general manager Charley Casserly broke down the importance of the test. "I can tell you there are starting players in the NFL who have been to Pro Bowls that had single-digit test scores," Casserly wrote. - Robert Klemko, USA TODAY

04/03/2012 - LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne reportedly scored a four out of 50 on the Wonderlic test, a basic reasoning and intelligence exam taken by all prospects at the Scouting Combine. ProFootballTalk.com cited sources in its report on the consensus top-ranked cornerback in the draft. Claiborne, a junior, entered the draft after being named an All-American as a junior. The NFL does not release the test results but the scores have typically trickled out to media through unnamed sources. The 12-minute timed test consists of 50 multiple choice questions. Several players have survived the stigma of poor Wonderlic scores to be highly drafted. NFLDraftScout.com rates Claiborne as the top cornerback in the draft and fourth-best prospect overall. In fact, the top cornerback drafted in 2011, LSU's Patrick Peterson, reportedly scored a nine but was drafted fifth overall by the Arizona Cardinals. Wide receiver A.J. Green (10) is one of many first-round receivers whose scores were reportedly well below-average, including Percy Harvin (14) and Hakeem Nicks (11). Some prospects first take the test as juniors. Scouts will administer the test during campus visits during the season and then a prospect might take the test two or three more times, including at the Combine and visits with a team. Like determining a player's best 40-yard dash time, each team uses its own method to finalize a player's test scores. When Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor was blasted for scoring a seven on the Wonderlic before the 2011 supplemental draft, many in the NFL publicly defended Pryor, including Steelers GM Kevin Colbert, who administered one of Pryor's tests. On Pryor's second attempt at the Wonderlic, he scored 21. Some teams average those two scores and others take the median of multiple tests. - The Sports Xchange

04/03/2012 - The draft games are in full swing, and it seems Morris Claiborne is paying the price. The LSU cornerback projected to go in the top five at the NFL draft on April 26 scored a 4 out of 50 on the Wonderlic test taken at the scouting combined in February, according to Pro Football Talk, citing multiple league sources. The results are supposed to be confidential, but as draft day draws near, information such as this has a tendency to leak out. None of that means anything to Claiborne's agent, Bus Cook, who defended his client. "I haven't talked to anybody about it. All I know is that (Claiborne) was from a complicated defensive system and he flourished in it. I've never seen any sort of deficiency in him," Cook told ESPN.com. "I'm sitting here in shock at what you're telling me. And if it is true, how does that get out? I thought the commissioner was going to put safeguards on this information and there would be severe discipline if it ever did get out. I don't know if he scored a 4 or a 40. All I know is he's a great kid, he's smart, and I've been thoroughly impressed with everything about him." Bill Polian, the former Indianapolis Colts general manager and current ESPN analyst, was also disturbed that Claiborne's score had gotten out. "There's nothing to worry about here," Polian said on ESPN. "It's ashame the young man has been put through this. I don't think it will affect his draft status." - Peter Barzilai, USA TODAY

04/03/2012 - According to multiple reports, LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne - almost universally viewed as one of the six elite prospects in the 2012 NFL draft -- scored just a four on the Wonderlic test, an intelligent test whose results are distributed to all 32 NFL teams. There is plenty of debate as to how much importance NFL teams place on the test. While a four (testers get 23 minutes to answer 50 questions) is certainly alarming, let's take a moment to remember just how little functional reading, writing and arithmetic is required to be a very good football player. Without naming names, I can tell you that some annual Pro Bowl players could barely read and write after leaving college -- and at least two of them play positions where teams generally value intelligence more than cornerback. Prior to focusing more time college scouting, by background was in Education (and coaching). Frankly, I put more value in my own impressions of a prospect's (or student's) intelligence based on how one performs during normal interactions with others than what score they received on any standardized test. Claiborne sent off a few alarms in my head after answering questions posed by the media at the Scouting Combine. I'm not going to claim that I anticipated a score as low as the one Claiborne reportedly received, but I can tell you five other players who I've either personally interviewed or sat in on their interviews that also caught my attention. Because the results of the Wonderlic tests are fiercely guarded by NFL employees there is no way of knowing (at least not yet) how these athletes performed on this one intelligence test that some teams may not value at all. - Rob Rang, NFLDraftScout.com

03/24/2012 - NFL DRAFT SCOUT TOP DEFENSIVE BACKS: *Morris Claiborne, LSU, 5-11, 188...Claiborne arrived at LSU expecting to play wide receiver but was moved to corner as a freshman at the insistence of teammate Patrick Peterson. In 2010, Claiborne started opposite Peterson (No. 5 overall selection in 2011 draft, Arizona Cardinals) in what will be remembered as one of the best cornerback tandems in college history. Peterson won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back in 2010 and Claiborne won the award himself last season when he grabbed six of his 11 career interceptions. The popular term "shutdown corner" comes to mind watching Claiborne, who has in-your-face coverage instincts and is one of the best returners in this draft. A versatile athlete, "Mo" piled up 2,000 all-purpose yards and 30 touchdowns at quarterback as senior at Shreveport's Fair Park High School, where he also played baseball, basketball and won the Louisiana state 4A 110-meter championship (10.76 seconds). Little wonder he is dangerous with the ball, evidenced by a college career total of 274 yards after the theft, including an 89-yard touchdown. He also averaged 28.8 yards last year on kickoff returns, including a 99-yard touchdown. At the scouting combine, his unofficial time in 40 yards was an acceptable 4.50, but his speed wasn't in question and he improve to 4.39 and 4.44 at LSU's pro day. Claiborne will need to add bulk to be competitive at the next level. Scouts told The Sports Xchange's Len Pasquarelli that pending wrist surgery shouldn't keep Claiborne out of the top five overall picks. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange

03/24/2012 - Close to 100 representatives of coaching staffs from around the NFL, including the head coaches of the Minnesota Vikings, New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers, were on hand Thursday as LSU held its annual Pro Timing Day at the Charles McClendon Practice Facility. A total of 24 former Tigers, including 21 from the 2011 squad, worked out for the NFL scouts and coaches. The players were measured and weighed and put through a series of tests, including the 225-pound bench press, 40-yard dash, vertical jump, broad jump, the shuttle run and the three-cone drill. Following the testing, players went through individual position workouts. In addition to the NFL coaches and scouts on hand, it was also a reunion of sorts for former Tigers as many of LSU's NFL alumni were on hand. The list of former Tigers watching Pro Day included: safety Ryan Clark (Steelers), quarterback Matt Flynn (Seahawks), defensive tackle Kyle Williams (Bills), linebacker Kelvin Sheppard (Bills), cornerback Randall Gay (Saints - retired), running back Stevan Ridley (Patriots), cornerback/return specialist Patrick Peterson (Cardinals) and punter Donnie Jones (Rams). "Anytime you can welcome this many representatives from the NFL to your campus to watch your players work out, it's a great day and speaks volumes about our program," LSU head coach Les Miles said. "We have every NFL team represented along with GMs and head coaches from several teams here. "It's a lot of fun for me to sit back on a day like this and watch our guys get a chance to showcase their skill and ability. Miles cited Morris Claiborne and Brandon Taylor as two players who benefited a great deal because of the program. Claiborne is expected to be the first cornerback taken in next month's NFL Draft, while Taylor is projected as a late round pick. - LSU football

03/23/2012 - Several scouts this week said they don't expect the pending wrist surgery for LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne, who revealed the need for the procedure after the school's pro day workout this week, to keep him out of the top five in the draft. - Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange

03/22/2012 - Morris Claiborne had one individual goal for his performance in front of the NFL scouts and coaches at LSU's Pro Day. The star cornerback and Thorpe Award winner wanted to lower his 40-yard time from what it was at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis last month. Claiborne accomplished that as he ran a 4.39 on Thursday, shaving more than a tenth of a second off the 4.5 he ran in Indianapolis. "I started jumping around when I heard 4.3," Claiborne said. "I really wanted to most improve my 40 time. I had a good time at Indy, but it was not what I wanted to run." Claiborne, who had never played cornerback until he came to LSU in 2009, was a two-year starter at the position. Claiborne, who is bypassing his senior season, finished his Tigers career with 95 tackles, 11 interceptions and 12 pass breakups. In the 2011 draft, Claiborne's teammate, Patrick Peterson, was the fifth pick of the NFL draft by the Arizona Cardinals. Projections have Claiborne going in the top five of this April's draft. "It would be great if I go in the top five," Claiborne said. "That would show we have a lot of talent here at LSU. I talk to Patrick all the time. He has been through (draft process). In fact, he just went through it. He just tells me to stay focused. "It's been rough. I'm taking it one day at a time. I am getting close to reaching my goal. It's all coming true. I just have to keep working." - AP Sports

03/22/2012 - LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne said he will have surgery on his left wrist Friday to repair a torn ligament, according to the Times Picayune. NFLDraftScout.com's No. 1-rated cornerback, Claiborne said he suffered the injury during LSU's 9-6 win over Alabama but played through it the remainder of the season. He didn't mention the injury at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis last month. Claiborne, who ran a 4.39-second 40-yard dash at Friday's Pro Day, improving on his unofficial time of 4.47 at the Combine, is currently project to go No. 6 to St. Louis by Rob Rang and No. 4 to Cleveland by Dane Brugler in their current Mock Drafts. Claiborne said he has also been invited by the NFL to be at the first day of the draft in New York City on April 26. "It will be my first time going up there," he said. "I'll be going with my family and we're going to try and enjoy it. Coach Miles is going with me. "I'm very excited. As a kid you dreasm about those things, going up to New York, being in the Green Room, bringing your family." - Derek Harper, The Sports Xchange

03/14/2012 - With the top two picks in the draft pretty well set, quarterbacks Andrew Luck of Stanford and Baylor's Robert Griffin III in some order, it's been pretty popular in most circles to assume that Minnesota, with the third overall choice, will pounce on Southern Cal left offensive tackle Matt Kalil. Such a move certainly would bolster the blindside protection of young starting quarterback Christian Ponder, but also allow the Vikings to move Charles Johnson inside to left guard, probably his better position, as the replacement for Steve Hutchinson, who was released earlier this week. But a Vikings official insisted to The Sports Xchange that no decision has been made, and that there is still considerable debate about the No. 3 slot. Although the official didn't acknowledge it, some of the debate is thought to focus on the team's crying need at cornerback, and the viability of LSU's Morris Claiborne in the No. 3 spot. Minnesota ranked No. 26 in defense versus the pass in 2011, and its eight interceptions tied for the league low. The corner-needy Vikings used eight different starters, and seven different starting combinations, at the position. The team has five cornerbacks on its roster and, after the aging and increasingly brittle Antoine Winfield (158 starts), only Allen Asher (21) has more than eight regular-season starts. Of course, with Washington dealing up to the second overall spot in the recent blockbuster trade, Minnesota's third slot could be in play now, although it's believed the Vikings haven't had any substantive inquiries yet about it. None are likely to come until closer to the draft. "But some people here love (Claiborne)," the official said. "I mean really love him." - Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange

03/14/2012 - After a four-year absence from the top 10, there has been a cornerback chosen among the top 10 guys off the board the past two years. Whether he goes to the Vikings or someone else, Claiborne will extend the streak to two months. Claiborne is regarded as the most natural corner in the draft. Although he ran in the 4.45-4.52 range at the combine, he plays even faster, and is maybe more technically sound than Patrick Peterson, the former LSU cornerback chosen by Arizona last year as the fifth overall pick. It will be interesting to see if Claiborne runs the 40 at LSU's pro day on March 22. There figures to be a strong Vikings contingent in attendance, as there was at the campus workout for Oklahoma State junior wide receiver Justin Blackmon. He met immediately after his workout with coach Leslie Frazier and officials from the team, the first of many scheduled appointments on his tour of NFL facilities in the next six weeks. - Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange

02/28/2012 - NFLDraftScout.com has four strong cornerback prospects rated as potential first-round picks, and LSU's Morris Claiborne remains at the top of the position as none of the elite prospects particularly stood out during testing drills at the Scouting Combine on Tuesday. North Alabama's Janoris Jenkins is hovering around the top 10, and ran an impressive 4.46-second 40-yard dash, compared to Claiborne's 4.50. Alabama's 'Dre Kirkpatrick posted a 4.51, while Nebraska's Alfonzo Dennard ran a 4.55. All were very respectable times. (Combine 40 Times) Dennard flipped the script a bit with an impressive 37-inch vertical jump, while Kirkpatrick (37), Claiborne (34.5) and Jenkins (33.5) lagged behind him a bit. While Claiborne said he believes his speed helps separate him from the other top cornerbacks, he pointed to technique when asked to describe his game. "More of a technician, and trying to funnel the guys instead of getting real physical with them at the line all the time," said Claiborne, who considers himself a better man coverage corner than zone. - NFLDraftScout.com

02/23/2012 - NFL DRAFT SCOUT PRE-COMBINE TOP 64: 4. *Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU, 6-0, 185, 1...That popular term shutdown corner comes to mind watching Claiborne, who has in-your-face coverage instincts and is one of the best returners in this draft. A versatile athlete, "Mo" piled up 2,000 all-purpose yards and 30 touchdowns at quarterback as senior at Shreveport's Fair Park High School, where he also played baseball, basketball and won the Louisiana State 4A, 110-meter championship (10.76 seconds). He arrived at LSU expecting to play wide receiver, but was moved to corner as a freshman. In 2010, Claiborne started opposite Patrick Peterson (No. 5 overall selection in 2011 draft, Arizona Cardinals) in what is surely one of the best cornerback tandems in college history. Peterson won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back in 2010 and Claiborne won the award himself last season when he grabbed six of his 11 career interceptions. He is dangerous with the ball, evidenced by a career total of 274 yards after the theft, including an 89-yard touchdown. He also averaged 28.8 yards last year on kickoff returns, including a 99-yard touchdown. Claiborne will need to add bulk to be competitive at the next level. - Frank Cooney - The Sports Xchange, NFL Draft Scout

02/13/2012 - There is some conversation about whether Kirkpatrick or Claiborne quite measures up to Patrick Peterson, the premier corner prospect in the 2011 draft, and the fifth player off the board overall. The former LSU star started 16 games for Arizona as a rookie, and registered two interceptions, and 13 passes defensed. Peterson's biggest impact probably came as a return man, as he tied a league single-season record with four punt runbacks for touchdowns, but his pure cover potential is rare. There are some Cardinals' coaches who allow that Peterson was a bit uneven in coverage, relying at first on his immense physical talent more than technique, but that he improved over the course of the season and will be a top-shelf coverage corner. The read on between-the-lines performance at this early stage of the evaluation process is that Claiborne, who had six interceptions in 2011 and averaged 25.1 yards on kickoff returns, might have an edge. But Kirkpatrick, who does not return kicks, is arguably the stronger of the two, might support against the run a bit better, and has more football awareness, a trait that seems to follow Nick Saban-coached players around. - Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange

02/13/2012 - Before Morris Claiborne celebrated his 22nd birthday and was honored as the Jim Thorpe Award at a dinner Tuesday night, the All-American from LSU had work to do. He started his day with 45 minutes of treadmill and pool work. Ken Prude, who was one of Claiborne's high school coaches back in Shreveport, La., says the cornerback's commitment has been evident since high school. "You could see it, and hope for it, and you see his work ethic and you'd think there was a possibility, but to this level right now, it's beyond what we imagined," Prude said. "He's low-key and humble and a good guy." Claiborne won the Thorpe Award as college football's best defensive back. He had six interceptions last season for LSU, which won the Southeastern Conference title but lost the national championship game to SEC West rival Alabama. "It's an award that's representative of all the right things about college football," LSU coach Les Miles said. "The recipient is a team player, hard-working, not a ready-made guy. He came in not highly recruited, but . he worked hard, is humble and had a penchant for big plays." Claiborne led the Football Bowl Subdivision in interception return yards with 173, including a touchdown return. He also averaged 26.1 yards per kickoff return, returning one for touchdown. He gave up his senior season and is expected to be a high first-round pick in the NFL draft. - AP Sports

02/13/2012 - With the announcements last week by Morris Claiborne of LSU and Alabama's Dre Kirkpatrick, that each will forfeit his final college season and enter the 2012 NFL draft, the debate began about which one is the top cornerback prospect in the 2012 pool. The pair of former SEC standouts each has his supporters, and the assessments of the tandem figure to vacillate back and forth between now and the draft, but the consensus of personnel directors and scouts to whom The Sports Xchange spoke in the past few days is that a team won't go wrong with either. That said, Claiborne probably has the edge -- he's got better cover skills and perhaps because of his return ability. And for those teams that are concerned about certain off field issues, Claiborne may have more than a slight edge after Kirkpatrick was arrested shortly after midnight Tuesday in Manatee County (Fla.). He was released on $120 bond, the approximate value of the marijuana seized. Regardless of the latest development, talent evaluators will closely scrutinize both defenders, and both almost certainly will still be chosen in the first round. "They've both got good size and speed, both of them are tenacious, and they've got that cornerback attitude," one NFC general manager said over the weekend. "I'm not necessarily looking for a cornerback in the first round ... but if I was, and you told me I got either of the two, I wouldn't be very disappointed." - Len Pasquarelli, The Sports Xchange

01/12/2012 - LSU All-American cornerback Morris Claiborne has decided to leave school a year early to enter the NFL draft, said two people familiar with the decision. people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because LSU has not announced Claiborne's decision. LSU has scheduled a press conference Thursday afternoon with coach Les Miles. Claiborne, who led LSU with six interceptions this season and returned one for a touchdown, also won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation's top defensive back. In addition, Claiborne was LSU's top kickoff returner, averaging 25 yards per return with one touchdown that went 99 yards at West Virginia. He is projected to be a potential top 10 pick in the draft. Claiborne, who is from Shreveport, initially came to LSU expecting to play wide receiver but was quickly converted to defensive back and played in seven games in a reserve role as a true freshman. He started 12 games as a sophomore opposite 2010 Thorpe Award winner and current Arizona Cardinal Patrick Peterson. With teams often avoiding throwing to Peterson's side of the field, Claiborne saw a lot of balls come his way and responded with a team-leading five interceptions and also recovered a fumble. This season, he was part of a defensive backfield that included fellow All-American Tyrann Mathieu. Claiborne's 11 career interceptions places him in a tie with several other players for sixth all-time at LSU. - AP Sports

01/09/2012 - Scouting the LSU pass defense: LSU is deep and talented in the secondary. The biggest playmakers are CBs Tyrann Mathieu and Morris Claiborne, but they're far from alone. Tharold Simon is a topflight man-to-man cover corner and Ron Brooks is a playmaker in coverage and blitzing. Safeties Brandon Taylor and Eric Reid are smart and physical. - The Sports Xchange

12/08/2011 - 2011 JIM THORPE AWARD WINNER (BEST DEFENSIVE BACK): Claiborne, the SEC Coaches Defensive Player of the Year, finished second in the SEC in interceptions with six this season and his 11 career interceptions ranks sixth in LSU career annals. LSU joins Texas as the only schools to produce back-to-back Thorpe Award winners since the inception of the award in 1986. "I am excited to be a part of the Thorpe family of winners," said Claiborne. "We have so many great players at LSU and they push me everyday to get better. Winning this award is not possible without my teammates, Coach (John) Chavis and Coach (Ron) Cooper. We are proud to bring the Thorpe Award back home again to LSU. Claiborne will be formally presented with the award at the 25th anniversary Jim Thorpe Award Banquet on Tuesday, Feb. 7, in Oklahoma City. The award will be presented by Patrick Peterson. - LSU football

12/08/2011 - 2011 JIM THORPE AWARD FINALIST (BEST DEFENSIVE BACK): Morris Claiborne, LSU, CB, Jr...Claiborne has totaled 46 tackles - 28 of them solo - and six interceptions, which ranks him No. 9 nationally. He also has 12 passes defended and six pass break ups. Claiborne has tallied two touchdowns this season - a 99-yard kickoff return at West Virginia and a 45-yard interception return that put the finishing touches on LSU's SEC Championship victory over Georgia. - LSU football

12/07/2011 - 2011 AFCA FBS COACHES' ALL-AMERICA TEAM: DB Morris Claiborne, Jr., LSU, has been selected to the 2011 AFCA FBS Coaches' All-America Team announced by the American Football Coaches Association. Claiborne finished second in the SEC in interceptions with six this season, and his 11 career interceptions ranks sixth in LSU history, tying him with Greg Jackson (1985-88), Tony James (1992-95) and Craig Steltz (2004-07). - LSU football

12/07/2011 - 2011 ASSOCIATED PRESS ALL-SEC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM: CB - Morris Claiborne, LSU, Jr., has been selected All-SEC Conference First Team for the 2011 college football season as voted on by The Associated Press. Claiborne finished second in the SEC in interceptions with six this season, and his 11 career interceptions ranks sixth in LSU history, tying him with Greg Jackson (1985-88), Tony James (1992-95) and Craig Steltz (2004-07). - LSU football

12/07/2011 - 2011 ALL-SEC FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DB - Morris Claiborne, LSU, has been selected All-SEC Conference First Team for the 2011 college football season as voted upon by the SEC head coaches. Claiborne finished second in the SEC in interceptions with six this season, and his 11 career interceptions ranks sixth in LSU history, tying him with Greg Jackson (1985-88), Tony James (1992-95) and Craig Steltz (2004-07). - LSU football

12/07/2011 - 2011 SEC DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Morris Claiborne, LSU: Claiborne has earned well-deserved recognition this week, highlighted by his selection as an American Football Coaches Association First-Team All-American on Monday. He has also been honored as a First-Team All-SEC performer by the Associated Press and SEC Coaches with his performance as a leader of the LSU defense during the 2011 season. Claiborne is also a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award presented annually to the top defensive back and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy awarded to the top defensive player in college football. While making 46 tackles and 28 solo stops on the season, Claiborne has also grabbed six interceptions, 12 passes defended and six pass break ups in 2011. Claiborne's six interceptions rank No. 9 nationally and No. 2 among SEC defenders, while his 11 career interceptions ranks No. 6 in school history with the likes of former Tigers Greg Jackson (1985-88), Tory James (1992-95) and Craig Steltz (2004-07). Claiborne has also scored two touchdowns this year, including his 99-yard kickoff return at West Virginia and a 45-yard interception return in LSU's SEC Championship victory over Georgia on Saturday. - LSU football

11/27/2011 - The voters in The Associated Press college football poll are clear on which two teams they believe are the best in the country. LSU is the unanimous No. 1 for a third consecutive week and Alabama received all the second-place votes for a second straight week. The SEC West powers are on course for a rematch in the BCS championship game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans. Alabama (11-1) finished its regular season with a 42-14 victory against Auburn on Saturday, a day after LSU (12-0) beat Arkansas 41-17 to clinch a spot in the Southeastern Conference title game against No. 12 Georgia. At this point, even with a loss to the Bulldogs in Atlanta, LSU might move on to the national championship game. Oklahoma State moved up to No. 3 in the Top 25 during an off week, taking advantage of Arkansas' tumble from No. 3 to No. 6 after the Razorbacks lost at LSU on Friday. Stanford (1,281) is No. 4, just five points behind Oklahoma State (1,286). Virginia Tech is No. 5. - AP Sports

11/21/2011 - Bragging about their conference on Sunday was as easy as 1-2-3 for SEC football fans. After a wild weekend that saw three top-five teams lose, the latest AP Top 25 poll on Sunday featured a bit of history as three SEC teams claimed the top spots. It was only the second time in the poll's history that the same conference took the top three places. LSU remained a unanimous No. 1 pick, claiming the top spot for the ninth straight week. Alabama moved back up to No. 2, possibly setting up an eventual national championship rematch of the showdown it lost with LSU earlier this month. Arkansas took the third spot, jumping three spaces amid the fallout of a week that saw No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Oregon and No. 5 Oklahoma all lose. The last time a conference combined for such a high standing was in 1971 when the Big Eight finished the regular season with Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado taking the top spots. Oklahoma State fell to No. 5 while Oregon dropped to ninth and Oklahoma fell to 12th. Clemson, which was upset by N.C. State in a rout, dropped to 18th, falling 11 spots. Stanford, which fell to eighth from third last week, rose back to fourth. Virginia Tech moved to sixth from ninth and Boise State was a spot behind, up from 10th. Houston, the only school besides LSU to be undefeated in the Top 25 -- moved up three spots to eighth. USC, which upset Oregon rose eight spots to 10th, one spot behind the school it beat. Virginia, which upset Florida State on the road, entered the Top 25 at No. 24 while Georgia Tech broke through in the final spot. Southern Miss and Florida State dropped out. - The Sports Xchange

11/13/2011 - LSU was a unanimous No. 1 in the Associated Press college football poll, marking the first time since 2008 a team has received all the first-place votes during the regular season. The Tigers (10-0), who have been No. 1 since Sept. 25, received all 60 first-place votes from the media panel in the rankings released Sunday. The last unanimous top-ranked team in the regular season was Texas on Oct. 26, 2008. Oklahoma State (10-0) was No. 2 for the second straight week, but the rest of the top five was scrambled a bit after Boise State and Stanford lost for the first time. Alabama moved up to No. 3, Oregon jumped two spots to No. 4 and Oklahoma moved to No. 5. LSU had been sharing first-place votes for the last month and a half with Alabama, Oklahoma and Boise State. But as those teams each took a loss, the Tigers picked up support. Boise State was the only team other than LSU receiving a first-place vote last week, but after TCU upset the Broncos 36-35 at home on Saturday, the Tigers made a clean sweep. No. 8 Stanford, which lost 53-30 at home to Oregon, and No. 10 Boise State each fell five spots this week. The rest of the top 10 had Arkansas at No. 6, Clemson at No. 7 and Virginia Tech at No. 9. The only other undefeated major college team, Houston from Conference USA, was No. 11. - AP Sports

11/07/2011 - LSU and Oklahoma State took control of the race to the BCS championship game - but don't count out Alabama yet. The day after the Tigers and Cowboys stayed unbeaten with their most difficult victories of the season, they also took the top two spots in the BCS standings. First-place LSU beat Alabama 9-6 in overtime Saturday night in Tuscaloosa, Ala., right about the time second-place Oklahoma State held off Kansas State 52-45 in Stillwater, Okla. The Crimson Tide only slipped one spot to third. If the Tigers (9-0) and Cowboys (9-0) remain unbeaten, they should meet in the New Orleans on Jan. 9. If either slip up, Alabama or fourth-place Stanford are in position to reach the title game as long as they keep winning. Unbeaten Boise State was fifth and again seems to be a long shot to reach the BCS championship game, though another perfect regular season should get the Broncos into one of the four other marquee games. Oklahoma is sixth. Oregon, which plays Stanford on Saturday, is seventh. But from this point on the focus will be on LSU and Oklahoma State. Coach Les Miles' Tigers were No. 1 in both the Harris poll and the coaches' poll, and they were tied with Oklahoma State for the best computer rating. LSU has an easy nonconference game against Western Kentucky on Saturday, followed by game at Mississippi, which is last in the SEC West. The Tigers finish the regular season at home against Arkansas, which is eighth in the BCS standings and not out of the running in the West. - AP Sports

11/06/2011 - LSU put a lock on the top spot, Oklahoma State moved up to No. 2 for the best ranking in school history, and Alabama slipped to No. 4 in The Associated Press Top 25 poll after losing a 1 vs. 2 showdown against the Tigers. LSU received 59 out of 60 first-place votes after beating the Crimson Tide 9-6 in overtime in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday night. Oklahoma State moved up one spot after a wild 52-45 victory against Kansas State and Stanford also moved up a spot to third. Alabama slipped two spots Sunday. Boise State remained No. 5 with one first-place vote. The rest of the top 10 was No. 6 Oregon, followed by Oklahoma, Arkansas, Clemson and Virginia Tech. - AP Sports

10/17/2011 - LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State hold the top four spots in the first BCS standings, setting up two potentially huge conference games that could determine which teams play for the national title. Southeastern Conference rivals first-place LSU and second-place Alabama meet Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa, Ala. The Tigers play defending national champion Auburn at home on Saturday and the Crimson Tide is at Tennessee. If they can get through that, both will be off for a week before a likely No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup that could decide the SEC West. Third-place Oklahoma and fourth-place Oklahoma State have to wait longer to play their potential Big 12 showdown. The Bedlam rivalry is set for Dec. 3 at Stillwater, Okla. The only other time the top four teams in the first BCS standings of the season came from two conferences was 2000, when the Big 12 (Nebraska and Oklahoma) and the Big East (Virginia Tech and Miami) did it. The BCS standings combine the coaches' poll, Harris poll and a compilation of six computer rankings. The top four teams in the AP Top 25, which is not part of the BCS standings, were LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. Boise State was fifth in the first BCS standings, in good position to at least earn a spot in the five most lucrative bowl games, if not the BCS championship game on Jan. 9 in New Orleans. Wisconsin was sixth, followed by fellow undefeated teams Clemson and Stanford. The other two undefeated major college teams are Kansas State in 11th place and Houston in 19th. - AP Sports

10/17/2011 - WEEK 7 SEC OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE: CB MORRIS CLAIBORNE (LSU) -- Returned an interception 89 yards and also had two pass deflections and two tackles against Tennessee. - SEC football

 
Latest News
04/29/2012 - If getting what you want, sticking to your board while filling needs and taking your kind of guys constitute a good draft, then that's exactly what the Cowboys accomplished with their seven picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. They hit a home run on opening day with the trade up for LSU shutdown cornerback Morris Claiborne. They then continued the momentum by taking four straight defenders and five overall in an attempt to upgrade a unit that contributed to five blown fourth-quarter leads last season, including an NFL record three of 12 points or more. BEST PICK: Cornerback Morris Claiborne: The Cowboys wanted cornerback Mo Claiborne so bad that they gave up a second-round pick to move from 14th to sixth in the first round. Claiborne was the highest ranked defensive player on their draft board and the second highest rated player. According to owner Jerry Jones he graded out as the highest cornerback prospect since Deion Sanders. That's important because the Cowboys were not just looking for a cover guy they wanted a playmaker to help improve a secondary that gave up more passing yards than any other time in team history. - The Sports Xchange

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