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TOP 10 TIGERS OF 2023: #3 BRIAN THOMAS JR

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By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN


 Following LSU's regular season finale victory over A&M on Senior Day, finishing 9-3 over 12 games, yet another season is in the books, the final fall of the SEC West before conference realignment begins next August.

    With just one more game remaining in the season, we now have a full picture of who stood out as the 10 best Tigers of 2023....without further explanation, we're going to dive right in, just as we've done every season in which we've covered the team:



2023 TOP 10 COUNTDOWN SO FAR


AND NOW.....#3.....


#3 BRIAN THOMAS JR

1,177 YARDS

68 CATCHES

17 TDs


Among LSU's 3 most reliable, timely, and prolific playmakers of 2023, third year WR Brian Thomas Jr was unguardable for a large chunk of the season, playing Robin alongside Malik Nabers' Batman to devastating effect.

Leading the nation with 17 touchdown catches as he set a career high of 1,177 yards, Thomas Jr left many defensive backs broken, shattered, burned off the line from his quick release, posterized high above during most aerial duels, and torn asunder when trying to handle his strength, power & pace after the catch...

Often times BTJ was cast as the finisher while LSU's all time leading receiver Malik Nabers wore defenses like a cape, running them into quicksand; Utilized in a "death by a thousand catches" manner, Malik set up the big play downfield for Brian, yet Thomas's deep ball clinic would subsequently expand the space over the middle for Nabers to exploit.....and vice versa.

Together, this tandem combined for 31 total TDs, 2,746 yards, and 157 receptions, topping Ja'Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson's combined 2019 yardage in 2 fewer games.

But as we witnessed during LSU's win over Wisconsin, Brian is electric without the attention focused on his Biletnikoff-robbed counterpart.

Delivering 98 yards and 2 TDs, including the game-winning grab on a well covered slant route, Thomas was dominant as his teammate Nabers stood on the sidelines holding the all time record safely in his possession.

The former Walker High stud's 17 total scores rank 3rd all time over a single season in LSU history, only trailing Justin Jefferson's 18 and Ja'Marr Chase's 20 back in 2019...once again, those two playing a pair of extra games.

Now in totality, Thomas is tied for 2nd all time in LSU TD catches with 24, shared next to Justin Jefferson and behind Dwayne Bowe's 26.

Truly a singular talent that hit his potential and beyond just as soon as he was gone.....

Game after game, always at key moments, the now former LSU wide out would consistently supply moments that flipped the script, particularly when Kelly's Tigers faced numerous deficits due to their disgraceful defense.

Spectacularly reliable, BTJ pulled down 78.2% of all targets his way throughout 2023 (finishing his LSU career at 72.2%), securing 68 receptions from 87 overall passes.

Due to his timely, transcendent playmaking, leading all non-Jayden Daniels Tigers in scoring plays, second only to Nabers in yards, named as a Biletnikoff semifinalist, finishing as the nation's leading receiving scorer, 6 games over 100 yards and another 6 catching multiple TDs, there's no way Thomas Jr wasn't making the top 5 of our list.



By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

©️ 2024 Uninterrupted Writings Inc

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4 Comments


When he came into his own, he really showed amazing ability. He always had flashes, but this year there was terrific consistency. I’m hoping that happens for Hilton next year.

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There is so much more BTJ would do if he stayed another year. Sadly we won’t get to see it. He will definitely be missed. I do wish this young man great success in the NFL and in life. Geaux be great, BTJ!! 💜💛💜🐯 #ForeverLSU

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I agree 💯!!

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