LSU football recruiting profile: Kevin Toliver II


Kevin Toliver II arrives on campus with aspirations of continuing the LSU football team’s tradition of elite defensive backs.

Next: LSU football recruiting profile: Arden Key

Kevin Toliver II joins the LSU football team as one of the best cornerback prospects in the country, with the size to match.

Toliver stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 185 pounds, giving him potential to become the prototypical lockdown corner that has become so common at LSU. He is also one of the cleanest defensive backs in the 2015 recruiting class.

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The Tigers plucked this elite prospect right out of the Florida Gators’ backyard in Jacksonville, Fla. In addition to Florida, Toliver turned down Ohio State and Alabama for the opportunity to follow in his brother’s footsteps. His brother, Terrence Toliver, played four years at wide receiver for the Bayou Bengals, and was a part of the 2007 national championship team as a freshman.

The younger Toliver brother is a heralded prospect coming out of high school, just like his older brother, and has the size and ball skills to make a major impact for the Tigers early on in his career. He may not have the top-end speed that you expect from a playmaker in the secondary, but his 4.5 40-yard dash time also does not reveal his in-game speed that benefits from his tremendous football instincts.

Per 247Sports, he compiled 87 tackles, 15 pass breakups, and 6 interceptions during his high school career, was named to the All-USA team by USA Today and earned an invitation to the Under Armor All-American game.

Clearly one of the best defenders in this year’s class, Toliver is ranked by most recruiting sites as the top incoming freshman for the Tigers. With the talent and skill set to be a lockdown corner, he should step right in and fill the void that has been left by the departure of Jalen Collins.

His playing time will be limited during his freshman season, due to NFL prospects Jalen Mills and Tre’Davious White being ahead of him on the depth chart, but there is no reason to believe he will not be a starter by 2016. If him and fellow top recruit Donte Jackson play up to their potential, the Tigers could be looking at their best secondary since Morris Claiborne, Tyrann Mathieu and Eric Reid roamed the defensive backfield.

Toliver will hope to experience the same level of success in Death Valley that his brother did during his freshman season, being selected to the SEC’s All-Freshman team, and winning an SEC and national championship. Even though Terrence Toliver leaves big shoes to fill, his younger brother has every opportunity to grow into an even better overall player.

If he can shave a few tenths of a second off of his 40-time and bulk up to around 205 pounds, Toliver could easily become one of the most physical and athletic defensive backs in college football. With top defensive recruits like Toliver, Jackson and Arden Key joining the team in 2015, LSU looks poised to create a top defense in the SEC, and one of the best in the country.

Player Comparison: Jalen Collins

Toliver’s physical frame draws a striking resemblance to an LSU defensive back that has experienced tremendous success in the NFL, Patrick Peterson, but he still has a lot of work to do on improving his athleticism before being worthy of that comparison. Right now, Jalen Collins appears to most similar LSU player to Toliver in recent memory.

Much like Collins, Toliver will rely on his physicality and size to gain a competitive edge on wide receivers, while struggling when going up against some of the faster players in the SEC. Fortunately, Toliver will have a full year to work on his speed, and if this area of his game improves, he should have no problem landing on an NFL roster in a couple of seasons.

Next: LSU football recruiting profile: Donte Jackson

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