Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
LSU wide receiver D.J. Chark

Bayou Bengal Briefing: LSU’s wide receiver situation is going to be a massive mismatch in 2017

Nick Suss

Welcome to SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football with LSU beat writer Nick Suss. Today, we discuss wide receivers, personal believers, big-time achievers and much more. Enjoy.

Catching up

In 2017, the LSU football team is going to look like a pretty great pickup basketball team.

Wide receiver is a position of concern heading into next season. LSU returns only one regular contributor from 2016 in D.J. Chark. Beyond that, LSU football’s next most prolific returning pass catchers are fullback J.D. Moore (10 catches), running back Derrius Guice (9 catches) and tight end Foster Moreau (6 catches).

But there’s a difference between concern and flaw. And, judging purely by the way LSU is going to match up against its opponents, wide receiver shouldn’t be much of a flaw in 2017.

Here’s a breakdown of LSU’s wide receiver situation for next season, including incoming freshmen such as 3-star Racey McMath, who committed to LSU over the weekend:

Player 2017 Year Height Weight
D.J. Chark Senior 6-foot-3 187 lbs
Russell Gage Senior 6-foot-0 179 lbs
Dee Anderson Sophomore 6-foot-5 202 lbs
Drake Davis Sophomore 6-foot-3 217 lbs
Stephen Sullivan RS Freshman 6-foot-6 235 lbs
Derrick Dillon RS Sophomore 5-foot-11 181 lbs
Mannie Netherly Freshman 6-foot-2 183 lbs
Racey McMath Freshman 6-foot-3 215 lbs
Stephen Guidry JUCO Transfer 6-foot-4 190 lbs

Sure, that unit doesn’t have all too much experience. But if you’re the kind of person who prefers your wide receivers to be tall with long wingspans and longer strides, this is the perfect group.

Believe it or not, LSU’s average wide receiver in 2017 is going to be about the same size as Malachi Dupre. This is a matchup nightmare for just about any team in the country. Even the biggest cornerbacks rarely top 6-foot-2. And LSU is going to have the option of running four wide receiver sets with all four guys taller than that next season.

And don’t think this means LSU won’t have guys who profile to play in the slot or over the middle. That’s what Chark is used to doing, after all. Russell Gage can probably fit that profile too.

It’s a bizarre situation to be in if you’re LSU. You’re going to be counting on Guice and the rest of the rushing attack to carry the offense to the red zone, but when you get there, you’re going to have nothing but goal-line threats to catch jump balls.

Size isn’t everything when it comes to wide receivers. But you’re kidding yourself if you don’t think this isn’t going to keep SEC defensive coordinators up at night before they have to play LSU. It’s just one more incredible mismatch to prepare for.

Your weekly LSU football poll question

Last Monday in the Bayou Bengal Briefing, I asked you which of the LSU football team’s position groups you thought needed the most work. This week, we’re going to be a little more positive.

Which leads us to the question for this week: Which player(s) are you the most excited to see perform in 2017? There are plenty of good options. More than I can even fit into one poll. But we’re going to try.

Vote in the poll below. As always, I’ll recap your answers in Bayou Bengal Briefing on Tuesday.


NFLSU: Super Bowl edition

Four former LSU football players are headed to Super Bowl 51 in two weeks. How’d we get here? Let’s recap:

  • Led by quarterback Matt Ryan, the Atlanta Falcons closed out the Georgia Dome in the most impressive way, routing Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers to earn the NFC’s berth in the Super Bowl. Three former LSU standouts star on the Falcons defense: linebacker Deion Jones, defensive back Jalen Collins and defensive end Tyson Jackson.
  • In the NFC Championship on Sunday, Collins looked great, recovering a key fumble in the red zone to swing the game, nearly intercepting a pass and making 3 tackles. Jones recorded 6 tackles and defensed 1 pass, and Jackson made 2 tackles, one of which being a sack.
  • The Falcons will be facing the New England Patriots, who defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers to go to their seventh Super Bowl since 2001. Former LSU defensive end Barkevious Mingo is on the Patriots’ roster but does not often play.

Where in the world was Ed Orgeron?

Twitter is fun.

As we get closer to National Signing Day (Feb. 1, if your calendars aren’t already marked), we’ve been inundated with photos of Ed Orgeron chumming with recruits. So, where was he this weekend? Well, he was mostly on campus helping his players host a wide range of visiting recruits.

But that didn’t mean a couple of photos didn’t surface, such as these two:

The second photo, obviously, is of defensive end commit Aaron Moffitt, the son of LSU strength and conditioning coach Tommy Moffitt. That visit probably wasn’t a hard one for Orgeron to make.

Speaking of Twitter …

Confidence is a good thing. And when that confidence comes at the expense of haters that no one else even knew existed, it’s even sweeter.

Former LSU defensive end and NFL Draft hopeful Davon Godchaux had one such moment Sunday night when he put all his critics on blast.

Given his message here, Godchaux doesn’t seem to believe he’s going to be drafted very highly. Still, he’s not going to drop very far.

CBS Sports ranks Godchaux as the No. 7 defensive tackle in this year’s draft class, and Walter Football ranks him as the No. 8. Both sites have Godchaux projected to go between the second and fourth rounds, which is pretty good for a two-year college starter.

I’m inclined to agree with Godchaux here, though. There aren’t many players in this year’s draft class who can provide a pass rush from the interior as a 4-3 defensive tackle or as a 3-4 defensive end like Godchaux can. That sort of versatility will only help him transition quickly to the next level.

Your weekly LSU non-revenue sports update

As is going to remain true for the rest of the spring, it was a busy weekend for LSU’s smaller sports. Here’s a recap of what you might’ve missed while you were enjoying the unseasonably warm January weather:

  • The No. 2 gymnastics team kicked off action Friday night with a win over Texas Woman’s. Sarah Finnegan led the Tigers in the all-around, but freshmen Kennedi Edney and Ruby Harrold really stole the show. You can read my full recap with quotes from the team here.
  • The not No. 2 men’s basketball team lost again, this time to Arkansas. The good news is the team didn’t give up 100 points. So, what’s the bad news? It gave up 99.
  • The No. 19 women’s tennis team opened its spring schedule with back-to-back 7-0 victories over Southern and Northwestern State. Luckily for the Tigers, they play North Florida and South Florida later in their nonconference schedule to try to further their dominance over directional schools.
  • The men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams both lost to Texas A&M in College Station on Saturday. The men lost, 173-127, and the women fell, 193-103.
  • LSU’s Johnnie Jackson asserted himself as the NCAA’s new leader in the weight throw when the Tigers’ track and field team competed in the Auburn Invitational on Saturday.
  • Finally, the women’s basketball team continued its losing streak, falling to Texas A&M on Sunday afternoon. Apparently LSU’s non-rev sports should stay out of College Station.

Today in made-up holidays

According to the folks over at, Monday is “National Pie Day.” If you’re reading this post in the morning and are now angry at me because you can’t eat pie until later in the day, I apologize.

As a lifelong supported of cake over pie, today isn’t the most important day for me. But if you love pie as much as most people do, you should click on that link above. It’s got all sorts of deals for free and discounted pies you can pick up Monday.

That’s all. I’m not going to try to pick which LSU football players resemble certain pies or whatever. Just wanted you guys to know that you might be able to get free pies Monday. It’s my job.

Celebrate responsibly. We don’t need a Stand By Me situation from any of you. The Bayou Bengal Briefing can’t have that on our confidence.

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