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MALIK NABERS: "MR. BILETNIKOFF"

Updated: Dec 4, 2023


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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN


Following LSU WR Malik Nabers' 1,000 yard sophomore season, specifically his consecutive 150+ yard games to close out the year vs Georgia & Purdue, most Tiger fans understood two things heading into 2023:

1. Malik would most likely be the team's #1 wide receiver and

2. He'd perhaps have a chance to be LSU's next receiver to wear #7.

Of course, nobody would usurp him to that #1 WR spot, however, he's done something far bigger, bolder, and more legendary than any other Tiger icon who's worn the #7, standing out as his own man and his own brand in the process.

Malik has already accomplished a variety of milestones Justin Jefferson, Ja'Marr Chase, Odell Beckham Jr, Michael Clayton, Wendell Davis, Dwayne Bowe, and DJ Chark were never able to hit....in fact, he's one-upped all of 'em in creating his own legacy.....with just one name remaining to pass on his climb up the career receiving charts.

When future generations of LSU fans see highlights of a receiver dawning #8, they'll know who he is:

#8 Malik Nabers, a young man who's already become a fortified Biletnikoff frontrunner (#1 in receiving yards for 8 straight weeks, #1 in receiving per game at 129.9, #1 in plays over 20+ yards (34, eclipsing JaMarr Chase's 29 from 2019), #2 in touchdowns at 14, a category led by his WRU teammate Brian Thomas Jr), 9 games ripping down over 100 yards, yet beyond the scope of his 1,546 yards, 86 catches, and 14 TDs, Nabers is now unthinkably only trailing Josh Reed, the program's all time receiving leader and 2001 Biletnikoff winner.

With his record still standing since 2001 at a totemic 3,001 yards, Nabers trails Reed's epic mark by a mere 23 yards going into the final bowl game of the season......ahhh the suspense....

...Hauling in 5 straight games over 100 yards (Army, Alabama, Florida, Georgia St, A&M), snapping the all time program receptions mark, while closing in on the 22 year-long SEC average mark (129.9 to Reed's 140 even), Malik will most definitely become the program's all time receiver vs Wisconsin.

It is simply maniacal how quickly Malik Nabers grabbed the mantle from predecessors Jefferson, Chase, Beckham Jr, or DJ Chark, ranking 2nd all time in program history over 1,703 offensive snaps and 187 catches from 271 targets from quarterbacks named Brennan, Johnson, Nussmeier, and finally Daniels.

With his own dizzying, gliding highlights and achievements supplying stone cold rosetta stone proof, #8 usurped his WRU forebrothers on the field of play as the most unguardable & productive receiver in Tiger history.....and now you're starting to see the dues finally come his way.

On Sunday, 2019 Biletnikoff winner Ja'Marr Chase ordained Nabers as "Mr. Biletnikoff" in an Instagram post.

Plus, aside from his own individual conquest, Nabers sealed his pedigree inside the record books, both as an individual and as one half of the program's most productive dynamic duo alongside Brian Thomas Jr:

Together, the fellow 2021 class signees laid every DB to waste throughout their stratospheric junior year, even topping Justin Jefferson & Ja'Marr Chase's combined 2019 haul:

While Chase & Jefferson piled up 128 catches, 2,126 yards, 24 TDs and 2 games where both recorded over 100 yards together (over 15 games), Malik & Brian are even more impressive, totaling 146 receptions, 2,625 yards, 29 shared TDs, and 5 games eclipsing 100 yards simultaneously....and they've accomplished those numbers in 4 less games.

Not only did Malik's constant pre-snap motion allow him a free release on every play, Nabers' deceptive route running dragged away a lot of eyes from #11, assisting his teammate's 14 touchdowns throughout 11 games this fall (3rd All Time single season record at LSU) as well as Brian's own 1,000 yard haul.

12 outings catching 100+ yards over his 28 starts, Malik went from an All-SEC Freshman selection into a gutty, starving artist who somehow willed his way to 1,000 yards during 2022....and now, you've seen the Biletnikoff frontrunner not only take that next step, but rise into the ascendancy of Tiger Legends.....and this weekend, against a strong A&M defense, Nabers will have a headline opportunity to eclipse 143 yards and set himself apart as the greatest wide receiver in program history.

By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

©️ 2023 Uninterrupted Writings Inc

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What also is so impressive is how he has grown as a man. Coach always talks about his dedication, calmness under pressure, and work ethic. He is now positioned for all the great opportunities that await.

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