4-Star A&M commit Darian Claiborne update

Darian Claiborne

Texas A&M commit Darian Claiborne, the four-star 2013 MLB from Port Allen, talks about the Aggies' win over Alabama, the strength of his pledge, this Friday's second-round playoff game vs. highly-seeded Livonia and more...

Darian Claiborne didn't get to make the trip from southeast Louisiana to Tuscaloosa to watch Texas A&M's win over Alabama, although the Aggies' win over the previously-undefeated and top-ranked Crimson Tide was on his mind.

While A&M was in the process of upsetting Alabama, Claiborne and his teammates were en route to New Orleans where the No. 21 Pelicans bounced No. 12 McMain.

"The Texas A&M/Alabama game started at 2:30 P.M. and we were on our way to play McMain," the nation's 11th-ranked senior middle linebacker said. "When the final score was announced at the stadium, we were warming up and I got very excited and very pumped up.

"I like it. I love it. Oh, yeah...I'm definitely solid to A&M; I'm definitely going there. Where else would (emphasis added) I go after the win over Bama? (laughter) I talked to the staff after the game, and they said it was crazy on campus (in College Station) after the win."

When will Claiborne take his A&M official?

"I have no clue when I'll visit," he answered. "I think the coaches want me to wait until our season is over. I might go for the Mizzou game."

Claiborne says he hasn't had any contact with the three other 2013 Louisiana prospects who are committed to the Aggies: Noel Ellis, Edward Williams and Shaan Washington.

With three losses Port Allen didn't perform as well as expected prior to the 2012 playoffs - the Pelicans garnered a lofty preseason No. 3 statewide ranking - but head coach Chad Blanchard's team is capable of sending home any 3A team.

The Pels go for another "upset" of a higher-seed this week vs. No. 5 Livonia and 2014 WR/CB/KR Darius Hammond.

Livonia may have the better seed but many expect Port Allen to prevail.

"We need to play ball, not turn the ball over and keep mistakes to a minimum," said Claiborne, who doubles as starting quarterback and inside linebacker. "We have a good team. I've been handing off the ball and letting my teammates do their thing."

Claiborne, who picked off a pass vs. McMain, talked about a key play in the Pels' 20-14 week nine win over E.D. White.

"I jumped in the air to make a one-handed interception," he said.

Seeded 14th last year, Port Allen advanced to the quarterfinals with a come-from-behind second-round 14-13 road win over No. 3 Loranger and four-star LSU commit Jeryl Brazil.

Claiborne tied the game with a long (77-yard) fourth-quarter keeper vs. Loranger, which had the Pels backed up deep in their own territory with only 1:39 remaining (and a 13-7 lead).

The four-star's heroics set up the game-winning extra point to shock Loranger. Brazil and Claiborne joined forces earlier this year on the Louisiana Bootleggers Elite 7v7 team. Claiborne is pictured below at the Big Man on Campus 7v7 Tourney held in New Orleans - and won by Bootleggers Elite.

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