The countdown continues as we complete the first half of the best 101 football players in LSU history.
As we get closer to the top spot, the players are getting better and better, and thus, harder to rank.
I have tried to avoid recency bias as much as possible. It can be hard to get enough information about older players, but I did my best to get them about in the ballpark of where they should be.
Anytime there’s a list this big, people will disagree. There’s so little that separates the 50th player from the 70th, and so on.
I tried to balance consistency over multiple seasons with some players that had one great year. Both have been rewarded here. With that in mind, let’s continue the countdown.
No. 60 – Ben Wilkerson
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LSU’s offensive line in the early 2000’s was consistently one of the best units in college football. Ben Wilkerson being a stalwart at center was a big part of that. He earned the job as a freshman and was recognized as a freshman All-American.
In 2002, Wilkerson followed up his freshman campaign by not allowing a sack. In 2003, he was one of the best centers in the country as LSU won a national title.
His senior campaign in 2004 was his best. He was a co-recipient of the Rimington Trophy, an award given annually to the best center in college football. Wilkerson played a few years in the NFL before going into coaching. He’s currently an assistant line coach with the New York Jets.
No. 59 – Greg Jackson
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Jackson was an All-American safety in 1988. His seven interceptions that year were tied for first in the SEC. He’s one of only five Tigers to have a season with seven interceptions or more.
Corey Webster did it twice, but we’ll get to him later. Jackson was just one of many stars on LSU’s defense in the 80s. He’s all the way up at No. 59 due to the weight I’m giving All-American selections.
After LSU, Jackson played 12 seasons in the NFL before going into coaching.
No. 58 – Max Fulger
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Fulger was the heart of LSU’s offensive line during the national title run in 1958. This was the Billy Cannon era at LSU, and Fulger was one of the guys clearing out defenders.
He was All-American in 1958 and is a member of LSU’s Hall of Fame.
No. 57 – Grant Delpit
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Because so many great defensive backs have come through LSU, it’s going to start to feel like some of these guys are being slighted. There’s just not enough room to fit them all near the top.
Delpit saw action at safety from the moment he arrived at LSU in 2017. In 2018 and 2019, he became one of the best defenders in the country.
His 2018 is one of the best seasons an LSU defensive back has ever had. Delpit was a presence defending against the pass, he could come up and defend the run, and he could use his speed to blitz and get after the passer.
In 2019, he won the Thorpe Award, which is given annually to the best DB in the country. He was a consensus All-American in 2018 and 2019 before being drafted by the Browns in 2020.
No. 56 – Morris Claiborne
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Claiborne shared the spotlight at LSU with guys like Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson, but he was one of the best corners in college football throughout his time as a Tiger.
Claiborne assumed a full-time role as a sophomore in 2010 and was Second Team All-SEC.
In 2011, Claiborne won the Thorpe Award and was a consensus All-American. He was drafted sixth overall by the Dallas Cowboys in 2012.
No. 55 – Robert Dugas
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Dugas is one of the best offensive linemen in LSU history and was the leader of that group in the late 70s. The Tigers set quite a few rushing records during this period, and Dugas blocking up front was a big part of that.
He was All-SEC twice, in 1977 and 1978. He was recognized as an All-American during his time at LSU, as well.
No. 54 – Sid Fournet
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Fournet played at LSU in the early 1950s. He was All-American in 1954 and was later inducted into the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame.
As a lineman, he played on both sides of the ball at a high level for four years. Making an impact right away was rare at this time.
He went on to be selected in the second round in 1955 and lasted seven years in the NFL.
No. 53 – Chris Williams
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It’s a good day for DBs on this list with yet another one making an appearance. Chris Williams played corner at LSU from 1977-80 and was All-SEC on three separate occasions.
Williams picked off 20 passes in his time as a Tiger. That’s a record that still stands today. He was selected in the second round by the Bills in 1981.
No. 52 – Steve Van Buren
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Steve is the second Van Buren to appear on this list. His brother, Ebert, came in at 62.
Steve Van Buren was used mostly as a blocker until depth issues caused LSU to need guys at tailback. After coach Bernie Moore saw him with the ball in his hands, he called him one of the best running backs in SEC history.
He was All-SEC in 1943 and Third Team All-American.
The Eagles selected him fifth overall in 1944. He was All-Pro in the NFL five times and led the league in rushing four times.
No. 51 – Ken Kavanaugh
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We’re going back a long way again here, all the way to the 1930s.
In 1939, he led the nation in receptions and receiving yards. He was big and a good athlete for his time. Defenses didn’t know how to cover him.
Kavanaugh is in the College Football Hall of Fame. He was selected in the third round of the NFL draft in 1940 and had a solid professional career.