Port Allen native Darian Claiborne, freshman linebacker for the Texas A&M Aggies, returned home to play in LSU’s Tiger Stadium Saturday afternoon.
“It was a great experience,” said Claiborne. “It’s something I really wanted to do. Of course I wanted to come out with a win, but it’s something I’ll never forget.”
The 6’1” freshman is a starting linebacker for the Texas A&M Aggies. Claiborne had nine assisted tackles and a solo tackle in Saturday’s 34-10 loss to the LSU Tigers.
“I’m anxious to play LSU again next year,” added Claiborne excitedly.
Claiborne began playing football at the age of six and continued through high school, playing all four years at Port Allen High.
Texas A&M has faced some tough competition this year, especially in the South Eastern Conference, including the likes of top-ranked Alabama, #4 Auburn, Ole Miss, and Mississippi State. The Aggies, after Saturday’s loss to the Tiger, hold an 8-3 record with losses to Alabama, Auburn and LSU, and visit fifth-ranked Missouri on Saturday, November 30.
Claiborne has had a very successful freshman season with the Aggies with a total of 79 tackles - 54 assisted tackles and 25 solo tackles. He tallied 1.5 sacks against Vanderbilt.
“The best part about playing for A&M would have to be being part of a tradition-rich school,” said Claiborne. “Just being able to put on that maroon and white and going out there on that field. I never imagined I’d be starting as a freshman. I don’t think anyone did.”
Claiborne said he is very humbled by the experience and recognizes that he couldn’t have made it alone.
“I’d like to thank God, first, for where I am today,” said Claiborne. “My high school coach, Guy Blanchard helped a lot with recruitment and getting film together. He was like a second dad to me. All the teachers, staff, administration, and coaches at Port Allen High, especially Coach Parker, and my family for being there and supporting me.”
Claiborne is currently majoring in Recreational Parks and Tourism Science, but has big plans for life after college.
“In the future, my ultimate goal is to go pro,” said Claiborne. “If not, I’d like to get my education, be a good father to my son, become a responsible man, and give back to the community.”