LSU's Claiborne, Brockers say they'll apply for into draft

BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU All-American cornerback Morris Claiborne and defensive tackle Michael Brockers have decided to leave school early to enter the NFL Draft.

"My decision had nothing to do with the game on Monday and how the season ended," Claiborne, a junior, said Thursday afternoon in a joint announcement with Brockers and coach Les Miles. "I knew this day was going to come."

LSU lost to Alabama, 21-0, in Monday's BCS Championship Game.

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.

Brockers' 54 tackles were seventh on LSU's defense. The redshirt sophomore was credited with 10 tackles for losses, including two sacks. He also had a forced fumble and intercepted a screen pass.

The 6-foot, 185-pound Claiborne initially came to LSU expecting to play wide receiver but was quickly converted to defensive back.

"This program is great. The coaches know what's best for you," Claiborne said. "This was an only one in a lifetime opportunity. I'm sad about leaving."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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