The LSU football team landed five players on the 2012 Sports Illustrated Preseason All-American Teams which were released on Aug. 9.
At least one LSU player made the preseason teams on offense, defense and special teams. As usual, cornerback Tyrann Mathieu was selected for the defensive and special teams units. Mathieu was joined on first-team defense by defensive end Sam Montgomery and safety Eric Reid. Punter Brad Wing was named to the first-team for special teams. Offensive tackle Chris Faulk made the second-team offense. The five total selections led the country, followed by USC with four selections and three players each from Alabama, Oregon and Wisconsin. The SEC led the nation's conferences with 14 selections from seven member teams.
The big news that has a direct impact on the list is that LSU kicked Tyrann Mathieu off the team on Friday afternoon for an unspecified violation of team rules. All of the preseason watch lists and All-American teams will need to be adjusted as a result. As he wants to resume playing right away at another school, Mathieu is probably done at the FBS level. Tharold Simon will now assume the No. 1 cornerback role for the Tigers. Redshirt freshman Jalen Collins will fill in at Mathieu's spot on defense. Sophomore wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. will return punts for the Tigers. He did have five kick returns and nine punt returns last season.
One player who has been getting plenty of preseason attention who did not make this list was defensive end Barkevious Mingo. However, the only other SEC defensive end selected was Jadeveon Clowney of South Carolina. Clowney was on the first-team with Montgomery. Mingo was third in the SEC in tackles for loss last season with 15.0. If he can build on that performance, there's no reason to think he won't be considered for an All-American spot at the end of the season.
With Mathieu no longer being available, I think Simon will play himself into contention for an All-American spot by the end of the season. Despite only getting two starts at cornerback, Simon made 42 tackles (2.5 for loss), two interceptions and forced a fumble for LSU last season as a sophomore. He also broke up 10 passes in 2011.
As an LSU fan, I don't think I remember seeing this much preseason hype about the Tigers as I've seen this year. I just hope the results can live up to the fanfare.
More from Patrick Johnston:Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery on 2012 Ted Hendricks Award Watch List
Kirk Michelet, "LSU lands five on Sports Illustrated's All-American Teams", WAFB
Stats from LSU Sports.net