The LSU Tigers have some of the best wide receivers in the nation. If Anthony Jennings is the assured starter at quarterback, he will have plenty of weapons downfield to make plays and put points on the board. With Cam Cameron‘s creative offensive mind, these receivers will be called upon to spread the field and make way for LSU’s stellar running game.
Unfortunately for Jennings and Cameron, most of those receivers are still sitting in high school classes and looking for prom dates. The top three receivers from last season are gone. Jarvis Landry, Kadron Boone and Odell Beckham have left Baton Rouge, and their outstanding skills and production went with them. They combined for 2,474 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2013, so the new receiving corps has giant shoes to fill.
The returning receivers are a mystery at this point. Travin Dural has some experience, as he was the fourth wide receiver in the rotation last season. Dural caught two touchdown passes with limited opportunities. Quantavius Leslie caught one pass for 11 yards, and John Diarse was redshirted due to injury. Spring practice will be crucial in their development as they jockey for the open starting spots.
The new kids on the block will arrive this summer. Two of the crown jewels of the 2014 class were Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, LA) and Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, LA). Both are ranked in the top 10 receivers in the country by Rivals.com. Dupre (6-foot-4, 175 pounds, 4.6 40-yard dash) and Quinn (6-foot-1, 200 pounds, 4.4 40-yard dash) are SEC-ready in terms of size and speed. Cameron will definitely count on them to play early and often in 2014.
D.J. Chark (Alexandria, LA) and Tony Upchurch (Pearland, TX) will also join the rotation. Chark and Upchurch may be less heralded, but that means nothing once the pads start cracking. Chark (6-foot-1, 175 pounds, 4.4 40-yard dash) and Upchurch (6-foot-1, 219 pounds, 4.5 40-yard dash) clearly have the prototypical measurements for LSU’s passing game, and will also find themselves in the thick of the rotation.
Whether it is a deep threat or using game-breaking speed on a tunnel screen, the receivers will have to step up immediately for LSU to succeed in 2014. These youngsters may not be getting looks this spring, but all eyes will be on them once they arrive in Baton Rouge. For Les Miles and company, that moment cannot come too soon.