HOOVER — Only two unanimous All-Americans from last season are still playing college football, excluding special teamers. One of them, junior safety Grant Delpit, resides at the back of a vaunted LSU defense eager to prove itself.

Delpit is next in the line of succession of excellent Tiger defensive backs, following NFL Pro Bowlers and All-Pros Patrick Peterson, Tyrann Mathieu and Jamal Adams. Peterson and Mathieu both wore No. 7 while in Baton Rouge, and the team announced in March that Delpit would don that number as well in 2019.

“I’m really tight with Jamal. … I try to model my game after him.” Delpit said at SEC Media Days on Monday. “He told me, ‘You gotta show me you’re better than me every Saturday.’”

The All-SEC first-teamer led his team in sacks and his conference in interceptions as a sophomore. LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda trusts Delpit in various positions and against various types of players, tormenting quarterbacks by lining him up as a safety, a pass-rush specialist off the edge and a hybrid linebacker in man coverage.

“Every day in practice we kind of have a chess match going because I always try to look him off,” senior quarterback Joe Burrow said. “Sometimes he’ll go, sometimes he won’t. Sometimes he’ll go and then I’ll throw it over there and he’ll run all the way over there and still intercept the ball.”

Fourth-year head coach Ed Orgeron said multiple times Monday that he views Delpit as the best returning defensive player in the country, even comparing him to future pro football Hall of Famer Troy Polamalu.

Delpit, though, knows much of his legacy is still yet to be defined.

“Grant Delpit. That’s my brand. I’m just getting started,” the superstar safety said. “I’m No. 7 right now, I’m an LSU Tiger. If I’m blessed enough to reach that next level — we’re just getting started right now.”