His cousin, Russell Shepard, is a wide receiver with the Buccaneers; the two were teammates at LSU. Another cousin, Brodney Pool, spent seven seasons in the NFL with the Browns and Jets (2005-11). Loston is a Houston native who garnered Parade All-American honors. Signed with LSU in 2009, but did not make it past the NCAA clearinghouse for his initial college eligibility until late in camp. Suffered a hand injury that required surgery, causing him to redshirt. Returned to the field in '10 and played in 13 games (two starts), recording 22 tackles, two pass breakups and one interception with one tackle for loss. Was utilized as a reserve safety and special-teams player in '11, appearing in 11 games and tallying 14-1-0 with one forced fumble. Missed three games with injuries (concussion, hyperextended right leg). Moved into the starting lineup in '12, playing in 12 games at strong safety and recording 55-1-3 with three tackles for loss. Had a 100-yard interception return for a score against Mississippi State. Missed one game with a toe injury. In '13, he registered 57-3-3 with four tackles for loss and one sack in 10 starts. Missed three games with leg and groin injuries.
Solidly built and well-proportioned. Good eyes and anticipation. Reacts aggressively to plays in front of him and buzzes the flat. Good route recognition. Can carry receivers deep and match up with tight ends in man coverage. Steps downhill and can secure open-field tackles. Is tough, sacrifices his body and will deliver some jarring hits. Helps line up the defense and make adjustments. Is noticeably the vocal leader of the secondary (very animated communicator). Gunner and jammer on special teams. Has NFL pedigree. Football smart, smart, hardworking and accountable.
Has short arms. Shows some hip tightness that restricts transitional quickness. Tends to rise in his pedal. Gives up separation in man coverage vs. receivers. Limited leaping ability. Can be overaggressive -- overruns some plays and misses tackles he should secure. Can do a better job of driving through contact instead of leaving his feet. Durability is an issue -- has struggled to remain healthy (despite recovering relatively quickly).
A big, physical strong safety with enough hybrid traits to offer interchangeable versatility. Looked better as a junior in the shadow of Eric Reid, but is a vocal secondary leader with starter-caliber ability as a box defender.