Tiger Tale: Tharold Simon

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Leading up to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, we'll take a daily look at a key LSU player and examine how he has done and what his challenges are for the Clemson game.

Tharold Simon, CB, Junior

Accomplishments: At the beginning of the season, opponents weren't willing to throw at Simon, the only experienced returning cornerback for the Tigers. Teams generally threw at the other starter, Jalen Mills, and nickelback Jalen Collins. As the season progressed, however, teams did finally start challenging Simon, who used his unusual height and length for a cornerback to intercept a team-high four passes to go with eight passes broken up and 12 passes defended.

Shortcomings: Despite his numbers, teams did have some success throwing at Simon, which is part of the reason why he wound up with so many passes to defend. There was an assumption that he'd follow recent LSU cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Morris Claiborne to the NFL, but there is some question whether he had the dominant kind of junior season that would make it worthwhile for him to leave school early.

Against Clemson: With speedsters DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins on the other side, Simon will see plenty of action. LSU gave up 979 yards in their last games so look for ACC Offensive Player of the Year Tajh Boyd, Clemson's QB, to go right at the Tigers corners, including Simon. If Simon's really ready to move on to the next level, he'll have a chance to prove it against perhaps the best pass offense LSU will see this season.