Ricardo Louis was asked to play defensive back during one drill at Auburn’s Pro Day.
The Auburn receiver was open to the idea. After all, he just wanted to be drafted. On Saturday, Louis got his wish and was drafted — as a receiver — by the Cleveland Browns in the fourth round.
Louis’ career was inconsistent at Auburn, though he certainly had some memorable moments, including perhaps the greatest catch in Auburn history: the Prayer at Jordan-Hare. He opened up more about his time at Auburn and how he believes coaching may have hurt him in the eyes of NFL teams.
“I would say that the Browns saw things from me that other teams didn’t see,” Louis said, according to ClevelandBrowns.com. “They understand that I was in a scheme at Auburn that didn’t require me to run very many routes, very diverse or complex routes and the fact that I was not developed as receiver at the time. Going into the (NFL) Combine, I wanted to prove to everybody that I was versatile and I was able to run routes and catch balls smooth and well. Doing that, looking ahead, they got to see that they can develop me and mold me into the receiver they want me to be.”
Louis was coached by Dameyune Craig during his final three seasons with the Tigers. Craig, a former quarterback and fan favorite at Auburn, left the Plains to take a similar position with LSU only 11 days following signing day.
With word spreading of his comments and fans pouring negativity in his direction, Louis felt the need to clarify his quotes.
“That was not what I meant,” Louis told AL.com Saturday night. “What I meant to say (was) I wasn’t a developed receiver. In a lot of people’s eyes I had some issues with dropped passes or that some people think I can’t read more routes, for a receiver who can’t do those things you’re not a complete receiver, you’re not developed.
“Auburn has great coaches. I have the utmost respect for coach (Gus) Malzahn, (offensive coordinator Rhett) Lashlee, (former wide receivers coach Dameyune) Craig. They brought me a long way as far as being a football player and I became a great receiver. Then there’s also some (things) I needed to work on that I felt like that made me not a complete receiver, not a very developed receiver and I felt like wherever I go, I’m going to get the opportunity to get better and better.”
Louis, who played quarterback in high school, shined at the NFL Combine, where he ranked No. 1 in the broad jump and was in the top five in three other categories.
Louis led Auburn with 716 receiving yards and three touchdowns in 2015, picking up the slack for Duke Williams, who was booted from the team in early October.
“I’m a receiver,” Louis said at Auburn’s Pro Day in March. “That’s what I’ve been working on, that’s what I try to perfect, but I guess in the NFL that’s where I’ll end up finding out wherever I can play the longest and produce the most. That’s where I’ll be. That’s my position.”
I have WAY too much respect for the AU staff and AU family to say anything negative. I apologize to the AU family for the miscommunication
— Ricardo Louis (@GuttaManRick) May 1, 2016