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WHICH LSU WR WILL STAND ABOVE THE REST?: WRU SPRING PREVIEW

Updated: Mar 5

By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN


CJ Daniels.

Kylan Billiot.

Jelani Watkins.

The bulk of the names that make up 2024 WRU are mostly unproven high caliber prospects and a few key veterans holding a season or two of production...a deep enough room for Co-Offensive Coordinator / WRs Coach Cortez Hankton to mine some gems.....but will another incredible unit arrive in Year 1 A.D, following the twin tower magic he helped generate from Malik Nabers & Brian Thomas Jr?

Could Hankton replicate that powerhouse once again so quickly?

Kyren Lacy possesses all the elite traits to become a #1 WR for the Tigers, however a propensity to drop passes at key moments has held him back. He also found his opportunities scarce alongside Nabers & Thomas Jr. Still, as the 3rd option among a passing attack that produced 40 touchdowns, Lacy caught 7.

Lacy holds all the athletic skills to become the #1 guy for the Tigers....

Entering year 4, Chris Hilton Jr has worked his way back from the fringes of WRU's depth chart, showing flashes in big play moments downfield.

Although Hilton enjoyed plenty of offseason love each season he's been at LSU, due to injury and his own profligate play we are yet to fully see the former Zachary High star unleash his wondrous bursts of irresistible pace and downfield jumpball brilliance.

Last year, Hilton reeled in 2 TDs from just 23 targets (13 catches), but his drop of a critical game-winning pass vs Ole Miss as the final second ticked away defined how many viewed his 2023 season. There was also another wide open touchdown drop he suffered vs Army, compounding his frustration.

Like Lacy, Hilton isn't buried behind the monstrous receiving targets of Nabers & Thomas anymore....it's now their time to take over a starting role within this offense.

As returning veterans, Hankton will give these two every advantage to make the grade....but they'll have to earn it, hopefully by building a strong chemistry with QB Garrett Nussmeier.

Red shirt freshman Shelton Sampson Jr will continue to turn heads during Spring, sporting a complete receiving profile: Ample height, hops, length, and crisp route running are all components of his athletic buffet.

Aaron Anderson disappointed during year one as a Tiger, but the red shirt sophomore has plenty more gas in the tank and all the ability to become a serious offensive weapon.

His gliding, searing pace could be utilized out of the backfield or even within the RPO game. LSU didn't call enough plays that found Anderson in pre-snap movement last season, an aspect we'll see Sloan and Hankton likely improve upon.

Transfer arrival CJ Daniels arrives as the most productive member of the receiving corps, fresh off a towering campaign at Liberty where he hauled in over 1,000 yards and double digit touchdowns.

Look for Daniels to become a big name quickly at LSU this Spring....he could very well be the superstar colossus Hankton is looking for....

While the absence of Malik & Brian could be noticeable or even profound at times this fall, the stakes still don't feel as high as they should, even though on paper there is a gulf in talent, production, performance, and even mindset when comparing the record-breaking duo to this current room of Tigers.

Regardless, after three consecutive elite level coaching campaigns at both UGA and LSU, I trust Hankton to find the right combination out wide, mould the elite youth talents & elevate WRU once again.
It's safer for a fanbase to be able to point to two or three guys and say, "that's the next great one! We're covered!" Of course it is...but what if "receiver by committee" is the reality for this fall???

Instead of two main 1,000 yard aerial steambreather targets, we may see WRU feature 4 or even 5 different guys hovering around 300-700 yards and 4+ TDs apiece.

Could LSU maintain their passing game fireworks for a second season in a row, even without a clear #1 or #2???
Although "receiver by committee" doesn't bother me as long as LSU is winning, when it comes down to it, who is going to be the receiver that grinds out the tough 3rd and 13?
Who is the guy Nussmeier is looking for on 4th and 8 inside the red zone, with a title on the line???

Who is that deep shot burner???

Who is our red zone finisher???

Who will be LSU's chains-dragging, grass eating, chunk play-devouring possession man, exhausting secondaries at will???

There might be plenty of questions at receiver, yet there are plenty of exciting possibilities, too.


By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN

©️ 2024 Uninterrupted Writings Inc

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I know it is tough to replace Malik and Brian, but this room has depth and talent. Perhaps as fine a group as we could hope for. I think the ball will be spread around more this year, and that includes the TEs. Therefore, it is hard to pick out one stalwart from this group, but I give a slight edge to Daniels.

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