Ranking LSU's top 10 athletes across all sports in 2020-21

Glenn Guilbeau
Lafayette Daily Advertiser

BATON ROUGE - With the end of the 2020-21 athletic year, here are the top 10 athletes in all sports at LSU based on this past season only:

1. JuVaughn Harrison, track

The senior from Huntsville, Alabama, won four NCAA titles — the high jump and long jump at the NCAA outdoor championships won by LSU in Eugene, Oregon, and at the NCAA indoor championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He is expected to become the first American man since Jim Thorpe in 1912 to compete in the long jump and high jump at the Olympics this summer in Tokyo.

Juvaughn Harrison acknowledges the crowd after winning the men's high jump at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championship in Eugene, Ore.

Harrison scored 20 points in all at Eugene as LSU won its first outdoor national title since 2002. He announced he would be turning pro on Thursday.

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2. Cameron Thomas, basketball

The shooting guard from Chesapeake, Virginia, led all freshmen in Division I in scoring with 23 points a game and was fourth overall. In leading the Tigers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, Thomas scored 20 points or more 22 times — the most of any freshman last season and the most at LSU since Shaquille O'Neal in 1992.

Thomas made the All-SEC first team, was named the SEC newcomer of the year by USA TODAY and was an Associated Press honorable mention All-American. He is expected to be a high first-round pick in the NBA Draft on July 29.

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3. Terrance Laird, track

The senior sprinter from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, led LSU with 20.5 points when the Tigers won the outdoor national title. He won titles in the 100 meters (10.05 seconds) and 4×100 meter relay (38.48), while also placing second in the 200 meters (19.94). He had the third-fastest 200 meters in college history (19.81) at the Texas Relays in March. He was named the 2021 U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year.

4. Lisa Gunnarsson, track

The senior from Paris became the first woman in LSU history to win the NCAA pole vault title and became the first woman to sweep the indoor and outdoor NCAA pole vault titles since 2012.

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5. Dylan Crews, baseball

The freshman right fielder from Lakeland, Florida, made the 2021 Collegiate National Team and was named the national freshman of the year by Perfect Game after leading the Tigers in batting average at .362 and hitting 18 home runs with 16 doubles, 42 RBIs, 64 runs scored and 12 steals.

6. Gavin Dugas, baseball

The junior left fielder from Houma led the Tigers in home runs with 19 and RBIs with 66. He was the MVP of the NCAA Regional in Eugene, Oregon, won by the Tigers as he went 6-for-8 over the last three games with three home runs, six RBIs and six runs scored.

7. Derek Stingley Jr., football

Derek Stingley Jr. hits Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley (19) after he made a catch during the game in Baton Rouge Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. [Photo by Kent Gidley]

The sophomore from Baton Rouge will likely be a top 10 pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, but this list is about 2020-21, and Stingley did not have the season he had as a freshman in 2019. He played in just seven games after opting out of the last two. His numbers are low because of that and also because there were so many holes elsewhere in LSU's worst defense ever in 2020 that opponents avoided his side. He finished with 19 solo tackles with 2.5 for losses, five pass breakups, a quarterback hurry and a forced fumble in a 5-5 season - LSU's worst since 1999. Stingley was the only LSU position player to make the All-SEC first team.

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8. Taylor Pleasants, softball

The freshman shortstop from Houston led LSU with 13 home runs and 59 RBIs while hitting .306. She is only the third LSU player to be named All-American at shortstop.

9. Ingrid Lindblad, golf

The sophomore All-American from Halmstad, Sweden, is the fifth-ranked women's amateur in the world and placed third in the Augusta National Amateur.

10. Khayla Pointer, basketball

The senior point guard from Marietta, Georgia, was a bright spot on a bad team as she was named to the All-SEC first team as well as the All-SEC defensive team. She led coach Nikki Fargas' last team (9-13, 6-8) with 16.6 points, 4.2 assists and 2.3 steals.


Baseball - Cade Doughty, Landon Marceaux, Tre Morgan. Basketball - Darius Days, Javonte Smart, Trendon Watford. Beach Volleyball - Taryn Kloth, Kristen Nuss. Cross Country - Katy-Ann McDonald. Football - Kayshon Boutte, Max Johnson, Terrace Marshall Jr., Zach Von Rosenberg, Cade York. Gymnastics - Haleigh Bryant, Olivia Dunne, Kiya Johnson and Alyona Shchennikova. Soccer - Tinaya Alexander. Softball - Aliyah Andrews. Tennis - Paris Corley. Track and Field - Sean Burrell, Damion Thomas. Volleyball - Taylor Bannister.