I’m trying not to be a prisoner of the moment after LSU’s 21-14 win over Iowa in the Outback Bowl, but after a couple hours have passed since the clock hit triple zero in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. I think we saw the best game of Craig Loston’s career today.
The 6-2, 205-pound senior safety has fought through a litany of injuries during his time at LSU, including this season when injuries kept him out of four games, but he saved his best for last and made a number of clutch plays for LSU today.
Loston made a jarring stick on an Iowa receiver after their reverse pass and stuck his shoulder into the chest of the would-be receiver and the pass fell incomplete. Iowa completes that pass and they get a big gain and some much-needed momentum.
He wasn’t done there as he intercepted C.J. Beathard on 4th-and-1 with LSU clinging to a seven-point lead at the LSU six-yard line. He finished with six solo tackles in addition to those two high-impact plays.
Social media was buzzing with superlatives with the play of Loston today. Here is a sampling from media members across the country:
They may have to drag Craig Loston off the field. He’s just standing on the sideline staring around. May have played his best game last.
— Hunt Palmer (@HuntPalmerBBI) January 1, 2014
Craig Loston has made some fantastic plays for LSU. Had the blow-up shot on reverse pass and then that pick. Quite an athlete.
— Pat Forde (@YahooForde) January 1, 2014
Great to see Craig Loston get that INT. Came in to LSU as a highly ranked prep athlete and has fought thru a number of injuries
— Russ Mitchell (@RussMitchellCFB) January 1, 2014
Todd McShay ranks Loston as the No. 3 safety in the class and the No. 07 player overall. In a relatively thin year for the position, if Loston can come to the combine and show he’s healthy and impress talent evaluators with his physical skills to go along with his stellar intangibles, he could find himself in the late second or early third round range in the 2014 NFL draft.
From a collegiate standpoint it was wonderful to see a player who has given so much to LSU the past five years go out on top.