Originally written on Crystal Ball Run  |  Last updated 1/8/12

Top-ranked LSU is 13-0 and the SEC champion because Les Miles and his staff have recruited some of the best players in the nation.

And they do this every year.

Heck, LSU already has a verbal commitment from the top quarterback prospect in Gunner Keil.

So much like yesterday's top five players from Alabama, it's equally as tough to pare down LSU to its best five.

Tyrann Mathieu, DB

There's not a college football fan in the nation who hasn't heard of Tyrann Mathieu, and there are millions of fringe fans who have heard of him by his nickname ... Honey Badger.

LSU fans love the guy, and almost everyone else seems to despise him. He does play with a chip on his shoulder and he will jaw with opponents.

But let's not overlook his talent.

Mathieu is a small guy but he loves to hit. He can also cover a team's best receiver or blitz off the corner and cause havoc in the backfield.

He is also a dangerous return man, and he was so good this season that he got an invite to the Heisman presentation.

Morris Claiborne, DB

When Patrick Peterson left for the NFL, outsiders wondered how LSU was going to replace the first-round draft pick.

Well, Morris Claiborne was already an established player and he seemed to fill the void easily.

Claiborne is probably going to be a high draft pick as well this year, but before that he will likely have a big impact in the championship game.

He's a big cover man, who creates turnovers, makes big hits and can also take a kickoff back to the house.

Will Blackwell, OL

Blackwell has dominated defensive lineman with his physical play, and he's done this playing both right and left guard.

LSU boasts the SEC's second-best rushing attack with 215 yards a game, and you can credit Blackwell and the rest of the offensive line for this production.

This is actually LSU's highest per game rushing average since 1997, and the Tigers' 2,797 rushing yards is the highest total since the 2007—a BCS National Championship season.

He is a first team All-American by The Sporting News, ESPN.com, FoxSports.com and Rivals.com.

Sam Montgomery, DE

With so many great defensive players, you feel like you should mention each one.

But if you have to narrow it down to the best you can't leave Blackwell off the list.

Montgomery led LSU with nine sacks and had 13 tackles for loss. Overall he finished with 44 tackles.

He considered leaving for the NFL, but he will be back for his fourth season and will earn his undergraduate degree.

He's a first-team All-SEC selection and has made a number of All-American teams.

Jordan Jefferson, QB

Following an off-the-field incident at a night club, Jefferson was suspended to start the season and Jarrett Lee filled in very well.

Jefferson saw limited action against Kentucky in the fifth week of the season, but didn't earn back the starting job until after the 9-6 win over Alabama in November.

But he's so physically gifted and if LSU beats the Tide again, there's a good chance it will be because of Jefferson.

He enters the championship game with just six touchdown passes and 684 passing yards, but he's a legit star.

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