LSU safety Jamal Adams picked up an impressive honor Thursday, when the SEC announced the Tigers newcomer had made the league's All-Freshman team. But Adams picked up a compliment Friday that might mean just as much.
Mathieu certainly knows something about what it takes to be college football's best safety as a sophomore; he was exactly that in 2011. That year, Mathieu forced six fumbles and recovered five and broke up nine passes on his way to being named SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a Heisman Trophy finalist. Mathieu's junior season never arrived -- he was dismissed from the program for a violation of team rules and entered the draft instead of transferring to another school.
As a true freshman this year, Adams ranked sixth on the team in tackles with 56 and broke up five passes. But he's only begun to show what kind of player he can become. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks recently ranked Adams among the top six talents on the entire Tigers roster.
If Adams isn't the best safety in the nation next year, he could at least be considered among the best in the SEC. With Ole Miss senior Cody Prewitt departing, and Alabama's Landon Collins expected to leave college early for the NFL draft, the title of the league's best safety, at least, will be open to applicants next year.