New LSU Tigers receivers coach Dameyune Craig will have two fewer weapons to work with in the 2016 season.
LSU Football confirmed Tuesday that wide receivers Trey Quinn and Kevin Spears will transfer after being granted their releases.
Quinn discussed his decision on Twitter the same day:
Jim Kleinpeter of NOLA.com noted wide receiver John Diarse also recently announced he will leave LSU. Diarse graduated in December and is transferring to TCU.
As for Quinn, Ross Dellenger of the Advocate said he plans on remaining inside the Football Bowl Subdivision, which means he will be forced to sit out a year. Kleinpeter pointed out a source said the receiver “will not transfer to McNeese State, his hometown school."
LSU “barred him” from leaving for another SEC school, per Dellenger. However, a family source said, “There’s no bitterness to coach [Les] Miles and the entire staff. It was not the ending that either side wanted,” per Dellenger.
It wasn’t that long ago that Quinn appeared to be a promising playmaker for the Tigers. He came to school as a 4-star recruit, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, and started early in his freshman year. He racked up 17 catches for 193 yards that first year but took more of a backseat as the season progressed and then was a reserve as a sophomore and only tallied five catches for 83 total yards.
He did have a 46-yard catch in LSU’s Texas Bowl victory over Texas Tech.
Dellenger said Quinn lost that starting job when he dropped two critical third-down passes in an overtime loss to Alabama in his freshman year.
LSU quarterback Brandon Harris offered his support to the pass-catcher Tuesday on Twitter:
Spears did not have as much hype as Quinn as a 3-star recruit coming out of high school, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, and he never registered a catch in his LSU career. Jerit Roser of NOLA.com said the receiver “plans to join an FCS program, where he would be immediately eligible.”
Losing three wide receivers in an offseason is certainly difficult, but David Ching of ESPN.com pointed out the Tigers are well-positioned to survive the blow on their depth chart.
Drake Davis, Stephen Sullivan and Dee Anderson all join the fold as 4-star prospects, per 247Sports, and Malachi Dupre, Travin Dural and Tyron Johnson are all still on the roster. Dupre led the Tigers with 698 receiving yards last season, while Dural was second with 533.
What’s more, LSU features one of the most dominant players in the country in running back Leonard Fournette. Fournette is fresh off a 2015 season that saw him rush for 1,953 yards and 22 touchdowns, and Odds Shark lists him as the No. 3 favorite to win the Heisman Trophy in 2016.
That means the Tigers will likely keep the ball on the ground throughout the season with Fournette leading the way, which minimizes the overall impact of Tuesday’s wide receiver transfers.