Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Leslie will face deep LSU receiving corps
By Gary Laney
Jarvis Landry leads a deep group of receivers in spring camp for the LSU Tigers.
BATON ROUGE, La. -- After LSU's last football scrimmage, head coach Les Miles addressed a minor injury to wide receiver Travin Dural -- a "nick" in Miles-speak -- and added that Dural was "arguably one of the best receivers" on the team.
That may come as a surprise to those who follow LSU from arm's length. After all, Dural, a redshirt freshman, has yet to set foot on the Tiger Stadium turf in a game situation. For those who do follow the Tigers, it wasn't entirely unexpected.
When Dural went down with a knee injury during August drills last season, he was having a solid camp and appeared to be on course for playing time. When the 6-foot-2 Dural -- who has speed, good length and has flashed nice ball skills -- is healthy, it's not hard to envision him pushing for playing time.
Question is, at whose expense?
LSU returns its top four receivers from last year's team and has added junior college transfer Quantavius Leslie, the big receiver lacking in last year's group, and added three freshman receivers in its recruiting class, two who are already on campus as early enrollees.
Here's what Leslie, and freshman Kevin Spears, will be up against when they come to LSU this summer.
Junior Jarvis Landry: Led the Tigers with 56 receptions for 573 yards and five touchdowns as a sophomore and has continued to look like a go-to receiver in the spring with 17 catches for 218 yards in the Tigers' first two scrimmages.
Junior Odell Beckham: Already a two-year starter for the Tigers, Beckham has surprassed the 40-reception mark in his first two seasons and led the team with 713 receiving yards as a sophomore. Like Landry, he has continued producing in the spring with eight receptions for 105 yards.
Senior Kadron Boone: Usually a starter in 2012, Boone caught 26 passes, including four touchdowns, as a junior. He's had a quiet spring so far.
Senior James Wright: The big receiver in the group a season ago, the 6-2 Wright caught 18 passes for 245 yards as a junior. Like Boone, he's had a quiet spring, at least in scrimmages.
Redshirt freshman Travis Dural: Dural was thriving last August when the unfortunate knee injury set him back. At a lanky 6-2, he comes closest to having a skill set that matches Leslie's.
Freshman John Diarse: The former high school quarterback got late word that he'd be allowed to enroll early -- probably after Leslie could not get cleared for the spring semester -- and he responded by catching a touchdown pass in the Tigers' first scrimmage.
Freshman Avery Peterson: The younger brother of Patrick Peterson (he signed with LSU as Avery Johnson, but has since had his last name changed) enrolled in the spring after attending prep school in the fall. He had a solid second scrimmage with four receptions for 60 yards, second on the team behind Landry.