When you talk about the best wide receivers in college football, you’re unlikely to hear many people outside of Oxford mention Ole Miss freshman Laquon Treadwell, but he will be on the short list for the best in 2015.
Treadwell burst onto the scene with a nine-catch performance in the Rebels’ 39-35 win at Vanderbilt in the season opener, and he’s backed it up with two eight-catch games and one with seven for the 7-3 Rebels. His best performance happened Saturday with the Rebels hosting Troy, and the 6-foot-3, 215-pound native of Crete, Ill literally made half the Trojans’ defense miss him en route to the end zone for a 25-yard score.
Treadwell caught a Bo Wallace pass on the left hash at the 15-yard line and eluded three Trojan defenders, including one twice, and shook off a feeble attempt to tackle him at the 12. Treadwell then darted to the left sideline and dove into the end zone from three yards out as one more Trojan defender attempted to knock him out of bounds.
SportsCenter named the catch and run by last year’s No. 1 wide receiver recruit the No. 8 play of the night in a loaded night of spectacular plays across the sports landscape.
Treadwell has often overshadowed his own teammate Donte Moncrief, who could be a first-round pick in the 2014 NFL draft if he elects to leave school a year early. He leads the team with 53 receptions and is tied with Moncrief for the team lead with five touchdowns.
With a number of elite receivers like Marqise Lee, Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans and Jordan Matthews among others likely playing their final college season it’s Treadwell who is making quite the case to be among the best as a sophomore.
Looking into my crystal ball, I can see him named as a Biletnikoff Award finalist as early as next season. With Wallace developing nicely in Hugh Freeze’s offense, his numbers should explode next year whether Moncrief stays or leaves. A spot in the first round of the NFL Draft in 2016 isn’t far-fetched if he continues to work as hard as he has to get to this point.
He looks like the second coming of Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin and after arriving in Oxford with an overabundance of hype and superlatives surrounding his game, the freshman phenom has surpassed them all. There is no ceiling when projecting his game in this offense, and Ole Miss and college football fans are in for a treat to watch him for at least two more years in what will be a special career.
Patrick’s a college football writer for Rant Sports and radio host on Sportstownchicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt and Google and email him at SchmidtPatrick@gmail.com for media inquiries.