Every young football player in the country dreams of playing professionally, and no college prepares their players for the NFL quite like LSU. After a drop in ratings last year, Super Bowl LI is expected to break viewership records, putting these four former Tigers on full display.
Tyson Jackson quickly became one of the best defensive tackles in LSU history during his time at the school. Jackson recorded 18.5 sacks and 27 tackles for loss during his college career, which helped get him drafted with the third overall pick in the 2009 draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. He had five great years with the Chiefs before playing with the Atlanta Falcons the last three years. Jackson was only able to record a total of 13 tackles during the 2016 season despite playing in every game. While Tyson Jackson may have never lived up to the high expectations put on him after college, he has still had a solid career in the NFL.
Deion Jones did not start at linebacker for the LSU Tigers until his senior season. The lack of playing time did not stop him from becoming a finalist for the Butkus Award in 2015. Jones' one great season in college got him drafted in the second round of the 2016 draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Despite being a rookie, Deion Jones quickly became the most important player on the Falcons' defense this season. He led the team with 108 tackles and three interceptions from the middle linebacker position. A Super Bowl victory would be a great way to cap off an amazing rookie season.
Jalen Collins played cornerback in every game during his three years at Louisiana State University. He recorded 90 tackles, 11 pass defenses and three interceptions during his college career before getting drafted in the 2nd round of the 2015 draft by the Atlanta Falcons. Collins struggled for playing time in his rookie season, but he quickly became an important member of the secondary this season. Collins got an interception in the final two games of the regular season, and he also forced a huge fumble in the NFC Championship game against the Green Bay Packers. The Falcons did not expect much from Jalen Collins entering the season, but he is a major reason they are playing the Super Bowl.
Barkevious Mingo had a dominant career at the linebacker position for the LSU Tigers. He was named a member of the second All-SEC team during his final two years in college before getting drafted with the sixth overall pick in the 2013 draft by the Cleveland Browns. After underperforming for three years with the Browns, Mingo was traded to the New England Patriots. Bill Belichick usually helps underperforming players revitalize their careers, but he has not been able to work his magic on Mingo yet. Barkevious Mingo only recorded 11 tackles this season, and he will get very little playing time during the Super Bowl.