Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Spring shoes to fill: LSU
By ESPN.com staff
With LSU beefing up its passing game now that Zach Mettenberger is pulling the trigger, the Tigers are going to need a go-to receiver to emerge:
OUT: WR Rueben Randle. How important was Randle last season? He had more receiving yards than any other player in SEC games and was the only player in the league to surpass 600 receiving yards (629) in SEC contests. Five of his eight touchdown catches came in league games, and he averaged 19.1 yards per catch against SEC defenses. In short, when the Tigers needed a big play in the passing game, Randle was there to deliver. He led the Tigers with 53 catches in all games and just missed 1,000 receiving yards. He joined cornerback Morris Claiborne and defensive tackle Michael Brockers in giving up his senior season and declaring for the NFL draft.
IN: Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr. and Russell Shepard. The good news for the Tigers is that they have some explosive players at the receiver position. They just don't have that one guy who's proven that he can be the featured target despite defenses trying to take him away. Beckham had an excellent freshman season and was second on LSU's team with 41 catches. He'll be even better his second time around. The guy to watch is Landry, who's oozing with talent. He's also a football player. If you don't think so, go back and watch how he blew up a few people on special teams last season. Don't forget about Shepard, either. This is his last chance to fulfill his potential. He caught four touchdown passes last season, but was suspended the first three games, and at one point, was planning on declaring for the NFL draft. He changed his mind and is back for his senior season. The Tigers need him to be a more consistent playmaker. And even though he's struggled to make the transition to receiver, Shepard is still plenty dangerous in the open field.