With the pass-heavy offenses in football today, wide receivers are more important than ever before. Over the last few seasons, the LSU Tigers grew into a top candidate for the title of ‘Wide Receiver U.’
Louisiana State University is not only responsible for some of the best wide receivers in the NFL today, but the Tigers sent one of the NFL’s best rookie wide receivers to the league just last season. The evidence is everywhere, so let me lay it out for you.
Wide Receiver University
There are quite a few college football teams that claim to be ‘WRU.’ Alabama boasts a ton of talent in the NFL at the position. Clemson, Florida, Georgia and Ohio State hold claims as well with each having a strong presence, including some of the NFL’s top pass catchers. Programs like Oklahoma, Miami, Tennessee, Notre Dame, Penn State, USC, Michigan, South Carolina and Florida State made cases over the years as WRU, but none of them have long-standing success.
The Crimson Tide is represented by Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Calvin Ridley, but guys like Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith, Henry Ruggs III and Jaylen Waddle are on their way.
Dabo Swinney and the Clemson Tigers had a run of extremely talented receivers in the NFL as well, with DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Martavis Bryant, and Mike Williams. Justyn Ross, Tee Higgins, and Amari Rodgers will be great additions to an NFL roster when their time comes.
The Ohio State Buckeyes went on a great run the last few years with Michael Thomas, Curtis Samuel, and Devin Smith. Plus, Ted Ginn Jr., Santonio Holmes, and Brian Hartline all played in ‘The Shoe’ in the past.
The Florida Gators may not have had the star receiver in the NFL, but they produced tons of players who played for quite a while. Since 2000, the Gators produced 15 receivers picked in the NFL Draft. Travis Taylor and Percy Harvin were each taken in the first round.
With A.J. Green, Mecole Hardman, Riley Ridley, and Chris Conley in the NFL, the Georgia Bulldogs have a strong presence that should last for quite a while.
But for some reason, the LSU Tigers really don’t receive enough credit despite being, well, the real ‘Wide Receiver U.’
LSU Wide Receiver U
With Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Russell Shepard, and now DJ Chark Jr., LSU has some of the best wideout talent in the National Football League. And Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall Jr. are each killing the SEC as one of the top passing attacks in the country.
Even though the Cleveland Browns haven’t reaped the rewards of having two great LSU wide receivers on their team just yet, there is no denying that Beckham and Landry are two of the best at their position.
Both of their jersey’s, especially Beckham’s, still dominate the stands at Tiger Stadium on LSU game days.
Chark took the league by storm for the Jacksonville Jaguars in his rookie season. Playing most of the season with rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew, Chark not only leads his team in most receiving stats, but is also in the top 10 in receiving yards and touchdowns in the entire league through his first seven games.
The interesting thing about LSU wide receivers and their success in the NFL is the lack of college awards they earned. The last time an LSU wide receiver was named a Consensus All-American was Josh Reed in 2001. (OBJ earned All-American honors in 2013 from the FWAA and CBS, but that was as an all-purpose player.)
LSU’s prowess as ‘WRU’ awarded them several high draft picks, tons of money, and eight Pro Bowl appearances since 2010.
Even though it could easily change within the next few seasons with all of the talent coming from Alabama and Clemson, it is currently LSU that I would like to supply my NFL team with wide receivers.