LSU gets a valuable member of its receiving corps back with the return of Travin Dural


Travin Dural led the Tigers in receiving in 2014 and was headed there again last season before he was derailed by a hamstring injury against Ole Miss.

He had surgery four days later and has been inactive since, missing all of Spring practice and just returning to the field for Fall camp. The almost 9-months long recovery period essentially turned him into a couch potato, and his playing weight of 203 pounds during the 2015 season turned into a hefty 230 pounds. For several coaches, namely offensive coordinator Cam Cameron and running backs coach Jabbar Juluke, the weight gain was hard to ignore.

"Coach Juluke made a couple of jokes about lining me up at fullback," Dural said after practice Friday. "Then, coach Cam told me he was going to put me at tight end."

Dural, a 5th-year senior, apparently used it as motivation. When camp started Wednesday, he was back down near last season's weight at 207 pounds. He realized shedding the weight was the first step towards a complete comeback.


"They (Juluke and Cameron) can't tell me that any more," Dural said, "because all the running backs are bigger than me."

When he finally got back on the field this week, he conceded, the nerves took hold.

"I was kind of nervous. I wondered how my hamstring was going to react to everything being it was the first time I was able to get out there and go through a full practice since November," he said. "But as the practice went on, it felt great," he said. "I was fatigued, but it still felt great being out there."

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While Leonard Fournette will again be the focal point of the LSU offense this season, navigating the treacherous SEC and ultimately getting to the Playoff will require all hands on deck. And that means production similar to the 758 yards and 7 TDs Dural posted in 2014 will not only be greatly needed, it'll be expected.