Christopher Smith

Texas A&M's SEC All-Freshman LB Arrested

Created on Dec. 23, 2013 4:37 PM EST

Texas A&M's standout freshman linebacker Darian Claiborne was arrested Sunday on two counts of drug possession and is suspended for the Chick-fil-A Bowl, the team announced.

Claiborne started at middle linebacker on a defense that allowed 30.9 points per game and did its best to undo Johnny Manziel's strong play. Claiborne was one of the lone standouts, tying for the team lead with 89 tackles and earning SEC all-freshman team honors.

But Claiborne was arrested for possessing a small amount of marijuana, perhaps jeopardizing his future as the anchor of the Aggies defense. He posted $6,000 bail within two hours of his arrest Sunday afternoon, according to the Brazos County (Texas) Jail website.

The New Year's Eve game against Duke likely will be Manziel's last as a college quarterback, though he has yet to announce his decision to enter the NFL draft. Texas A&M is a 12-point favorite over the ACC's Coastal Division champs, and a loss to the Blue Devils, or giving up big points on defense, would be a major disappointment.

More importantly for the Aggies, how will the legal proceedings affect Claiborne's status next year? Texas A&M gave Kevin Sumlin a raise, a big start for the post-Manziel era, and the team is expected to sign a heralded recruiting class this spring. But no matter who lines up under center for A&M next fall, he'll need more out of this defense, and returning Claiborne at middle linebacker was supposed to be a given.

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