ASH Product Imoan Claiborne on CFPA Defensive Backs Watch List - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

ASH Product Imoan Claiborne on CFPA Defensive Backs Watch List

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NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State senior cornerback Imoan Claiborne has been named to the 2014 College Football Performance Awards Watch List as one of the top 38 defensive backs at the Division I FCS level.

The 5-11, 187-pound Alexandria native, an Alexandria Senior High product, was not thrown at often last season, but made 37 tackles, snagged two interceptions and broke up four passes. He ran back one pickoff 48 yards for a touchdown to get the Demons on the scoreboard early in a season-ending 40-27 win over rival Stephen F. Austin.

He was chosen second-team All-Southland Conference despite those relatively modest stats in voting by league coaches and sports information directors.

Claiborne was voted by his teammates as a permanent team captain for the 2013 season, receiving a Joe Delaney Memorial Leadership Award.  He also shared the team’s Most Improved Special Teams Player award for last season.

A three-year letterman, Claiborne locked down a starting job quickly in spring 2013 and proved to be one of the top defenders on a Purple Swarm unit that ranked second in the explosive Southland Conference in total defense. He earned his third letter in his first full season as a starter after making seven starts prior to  getting 10 in last year’s 6-6 season.

The 2014 CFPA Defensive Backs Watch List for FCS includes two winners from last year, one who will visit Turpin Stadium Aug. 28 – Missouri State senior safety Caleb Schaffitzel. Daniel Fitzpatrick of Tennessee State shared last year’s award.

Claiborne is one of four Southland Conference standouts listed, along with two from defending conference champion Southeastern Louisiana, Harlan Miller and Marice Sutton, and Houston Baptist’s Taylor Thompson.

"Congratulations to Imoan Claiborne on earning a spot on this year's watch list," said CFPA Executive Director Brad Smith. "Claiborne will be one of the top Southland Conference players to watch in 2014."

The goal of College Football Performance Awards is to provide the most scientifically rigorous conferment in college football. Recipients are selected exclusively based upon objective scientific rankings of the extent to which individual players increase the overall effectiveness of their teams. Twenty-eight CFPA winners have been first-round NFL Draft selections.

Last season, Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston earned the CFPA National Performer of the Year Trophy at the FBS level, while Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams earned the CFPA FCS National Performer of the Year Trophy.
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