Miles, Claiborne Take SEC Coaches' Top Honors - LSU News - SECTalk.com

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Miles, Claiborne Take SEC Coaches' Top Honors

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BATON ROUGE - The No. 1-ranked LSU football team continues to add to an impressive list of postseason honors earned this week, as head coach Les Miles has been named the SEC Coach of the Year and junior cornerback Morris Claiborne has been selected the SEC Defensive Player of the Year in a vote of the SEC Coaches, it was announced by the league office Wednesday.

Claiborne becomes the second-straight Tiger to be selected as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year from the league's head coaches as former LSU All-American Patrick Peterson was honored a year ago.

This marks the first time in conference history that a program has produced back-to-back SEC Defensive Players of the Year since the league started honoring both offensive and defensive MVPs in the 2003 season. Defensive linemen Chad Lavalais (2003) and Glenn Dorsey (2007) have also been honored.

Four Tigers have been honored by the coaches as the SEC Defensive Player of the Year since 2003. Alabama follows with two selections, while Georgia, Ole Miss and Tennessee own one apiece.

A native of Shreveport, La., Claiborne has earned well-deserved recognition this week, highlighted by his selection as an American Football Coaches Association First-Team All-American on Monday. He has also been honored as a First-Team All-SEC performer by the Associated Press and SEC Coaches with his performance as a leader of the LSU defense during the 2011 season.

Claiborne is also a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award presented annually to the top defensive back and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy awarded to the top defensive player in college football.

While making 46 tackles and 28 solo stops on the season, Claiborne has also grabbed six interceptions, 12 passes defended and six pass break ups in 2011. Claiborne's six interceptions rank No. 9 nationally and No. 2 among SEC defenders, while his 11 career interceptions ranks No. 6 in school history with the likes of former Tigers Greg Jackson (1985-88), Tory James (1992-95) and Craig Steltz (2004-07).

Claiborne has also scored two touchdowns this year, including his 99-yard kickoff return at West Virginia and a 45-yard interception return in LSU's SEC Championship victory over Georgia on Saturday.

Miles has also been honored in guiding the Tigers to a perfect 13-0 season in 2011 while winning an SEC Championship and earning a berth into the 2012 Allstate BCS National Championship Game to be played Jan. 9 against the No. 2-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide.

Of LSU's 13 wins this fall, eight have come against nationally-ranked opponents with seven victories in a double-digit fashion. The Tigers have defeated nine different SEC opponents this fall, highlighted by their 42-10 defeat of the Georgia Bulldogs in the SEC Championship Game. Miles has now guided LSU to two SEC titles and a second trip to the BCS National Championship Game during his tenure.

Miles, who has also been named the AP's SEC Coach of the Year, has posted an impressive 75-17 overall record in seven seasons at LSU, including a 31-13 mark against nationally-ranked opponents.

Miles will be presented The Home Depot Coach of the Year Award on Thursday during The Home Depot College Football Awards Show at 8 p.m. CT on ESPN. He is also a finalist for both the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year and Liberty Mutual Insurance Coach of the Year awards this season.

SEC COACHES' POSTSEASON AWARDS<br/>COACH OF THE YEAR: Les Miles, LSU<br/>OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Trent Richardson, Alabama<br/>DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Morris Claiborne, LSU<br/>SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Joe Adams, Arkansas<br/>FRESHMAN OF THE YEAR: Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina<br/>SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR: Barrett Jones, Alabama<br/>JACOBS BLOCKING TROPHY: Barrett Jones, Alabama

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