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The SEC's top 25 players: No. 22

2/10/2012

We're heading down to the bayou to find our next player on our top 25 countdown:

No. 22: Rueben Randle, WR, LSU, Jr.

Preseason rank: Not ranked in the 2011 preseason countdown.

2011 numbers: He was third in the SEC with 917 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns. He was also second in the league in yards per catch (17.3). Five of his eight touchdowns came in conference play. He was also voted an All-SEC performer by the SEC coaches and the Associated Press.

Why he's here: There is no question that Randle was LSU's top receiving target in 2011. Last season, he caught 20 more passes and had nearly 400 more receiving yards than he had as a sophomore. Even with a passing game that was never spectacular, Randle found ways to make plays for the Tigers. He had four 100-plus-yard games last fall and proved to be tough for many defenders to handle in one-on-one situations with his 6-foot-4, 208-pound frame. His physicality helped him separate from defenders and helped him out-muscle players for tough passes. He even became a legitimate deep threat for LSU quarterbacks, catching at least one pass of 30 or more yards in eight games last fall. Defenses had to turn to double-teaming Randle at times in order to take him out of games.

  • No. 23: Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt

  • No. 24: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina

  • No. 25: Michael Dyer, RB, Auburn