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Why Receiver Kayshon Boutte is LSU Football's Next Star in Waiting

Boutte will compete for playing time in the slot as a freshman

For a quarterback like Myles Brennan, a veteran with the LSU program but who is also stepping into a starting role for the first time, he has an embarrassment of riches at wide receiver. LSU returns perhaps the best duo in all of college football in Ja'Marr Chase and Terrace Marshall, a veteran in Racey McMath and explosive youngsters in Trey Palmer, Koy Moore and Kayshon Boutte.  

Boutte in particular comes to Baton Rouge as a late bloomer in the 2020 recruiting class, a prospect that was always viewed with explosive athletic ability and potential but didn't really pop until his senior season. The entire recruiting world was blown away by his progression as a senior at Westgate High School, eventually propelling Boutte to a five-star prospect on 247Sports and No. 2 receiver in the country.

SI All-American publisher John Garcia said back in February that Boutte is the kind of talent that can step in and contribute right away. 

We thought he was just a downfield, speedy guy for the majority of the process but his senior season and especially Under Armour AA week -- where we got a closer look and cut the shots in the above video -- were eye-opening. He's got great speed, of course, but can decelerate well (important in route construction), set up defenders with the threat of the long ball and work underneath with precision and strong hands. His frame could enhance that part of his game after time in an SEC weight room, too, so there's not many in the country better positioned at the same stage as Boutte is.

The 6-foot-0, 185-pound New Iberia native committed to LSU in October of 2018 and never wavered, signing during the Early Signing Period last December. LSU Country caught up with Boutte back in February to talk about his affinity for LSU and why he chose Orgeron and the Tiger program.

"I felt very comfortable after I went to one of their games, I think they played Mississippi State and after the game I was like 'man I really love LSU' so I committed the next day," Boutte said. "I was always going to sign with LSU regardless but I just felt like that's where I belonged.

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"I thought it was a great decision and after I committed I started hanging around the environment, chilling at LSU and got cool with some of the guys on the team. When I took my official visit I was placed with Ja'Marr and we were just chilling for the weekend. I mean he's cool people and I know he works hard on the field and off so it gives me somebody to look up to for sure."

He'll now be playing side-by-side with Chase and one of the most prolific offenses in all of college football. But it will be an uphill climb to get up to speed.

Boutte, like 14 of his other freshmen counterparts, enrolled last week and has started the voluntary workouts step in the return to the field. The NCAA is reportedly expected to pass a six-week proposed preseason plan starting in mid July where football's will be allowed.

Six weeks isn't a ton of time for Boutte to build the requisite chemistry with Brennan that guys like McMath and Palmer have already begun. But the dynamic talent he possesses will make it hard to keep him off the field. 

Coach Ed Orgeron said earlier this spring he expects LSU to be multiple in how they use the receivers in 2020. Between Boutte, McMath, Palmer, Moore, Jontre Kirklin and even freshman tight end Arik Gilbert, the Tigers have an abundance of options to help fill the void left by Justin Jefferson.

All along, Boutte has come in with the mindset that he'll work hard every day to earn that spot beside Chase and Marshall. He has all the confidence in the world from Orgeron and the coaching staff.

"They told me their goal for me is to come in and start as a freshman and take Jefferson's place. I feel confident that's a position I can step into and have success," Boutte said. 

As the offseason has progressed, the common theme to come out from Orgeron and offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger is this is set to be a "breakout" year for McMath. That was before Boutte arrived and if he can gel with Brennan and the offense from the get go, it'll be hard to deny him meaningful snaps on the field come Septe