LSU Football: Time for the Tigers' Wide Receivers to Become Stars

Barrett Sallee@BarrettSalleeSEC Football Lead WriterAugust 14, 2012

LSU has boasted several talented wide receivers over the last few years, despite not having an overly impressive passing game.

Rueben Randle had 917 receiving yards last season with Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson at the helm, and Terrence Toliver and Brandon LaFell have also made names for themselves in Baton Rouge.

But none of those guys had Zach Mettenberger tossing them the football.

Odell Beckham, Jr., Jarvis Landry and Russell Shepard do, which means they all have the opportunity to become stars in the SEC in 2012—particularly Beckham.

Beckham caught 41 passes for 475 yards and two touchdowns last season as a freshman. Not a bad debut.

With Mettenberger taking the snaps, Beckham's production will increase in 2012.

Why?

It's clear that LSU's goal in 2012 is to stretch the field. Mettenberger completed 14-of-25 passes for 270 yards in the spring game. That's an average of 10.8 yards per attempt, which would have led the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) last season.

Beckham showed the ability to get open early and often during his freshman campaign, which will undoubtedly ease Mettenberger's transition to the starting role.

Quarterback-turned-wide receiver Russell Shepard is high on talent, but hasn't evolved into a good wide receiver ever since moving to the position a couple of years ago.

It may be more difficult for him to get additional targets this year alongside Jarvis Landry, who was rated as the No. 4 wide receiver in the country in 2011 by Rivals.com. Landry was limited last season due to nagging injuries, but he has tremendous upside.

There's talent at the wide receiver position, and if all goes according to plan, that talent will be unlocked with the presence of a big-time arm at quarterback.

LSU's wide receivers are underrated, under-appreciated and, in some cases, unknown. 

That should change in 2012 thanks to a legitimate downfield passing threat.

 

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