It's something that's rung true for the last few seasons but LSU enters the 2021 season with the receiver group as one of the deepest postions on the roster.
There's no Ja'Marr Chase, Justin Jefferson or Terrace Marshall to steal headlines heading into this year but the youth and pure quantity of the receivers proves the talent level shouldn't drop off all that much. The group of course has to start with Kayshon Boutte, who will be heading into his sophomore season as the unquestioned No. 1 receiver for the purple and gold.
Boutte put up some truly historic numbers after the departure of Terrace Marshall and Arik Gilbert and was most recently named to the FWAA All-America team and named the FWAA Breakout Freshman Performer of the Year. He recorded 27 receptions for 527 yards and four touchdowns over the final three games of the season including the SEC record 308-yard performance against Ole Miss in the season finale.
In total he finished with a team high 735 yards on 45 receptions but is ready to take his game to the next level as a sophomore.
"I think halfway through the season we realized what we could be as a team," Boutte said. "I think next year will be something to look forward to. Once Terrace opted out, I knew that I had to be the guy to step up. I slept on it overnight and it woke me up, knowing that we didn't have a No. 1 receiver. Then it happened."
The Tigers will return two of their more productive veteran receivers on the roster in Jaray Jenkins and Jontre Kirklin, who combined for 36 receptions for 581 yards and five touchdowns. True freshman Koy Moore tacked on 22 catches for 177 yards and should be among the early favorites to compete for the No. 2 receiver job.
Of course the true measure of depth that lies with this receiver corps is the incoming freshman talent at the position. Chris Hilton, Jack Bech, Deion Smith and Malik Nabers make for an intriguing and talented group of receivers who all could push for playing time in year one with the program.
Hilton, Smith and Nabers in particular show promise as future studs because of their speed and route running ability that jumps off on film. Bech is a little bit bigger bodied and is coming off a stellar career at St. Thomas More that just finished with a state championship win, hauling in 10 receptions for 232 yards and a pair of touchdowns in a 35-28 win over No. 1 seed De La Salle.
The 232 yards was a 3A/Division II record for a single game and included this final touchdown in the second half that propelled the Cougars to the win.
Smith is the only early enrollee receiver on campus but he won't be participating in football school for the forseeable future as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. Once the other freshmen arrive after the spring semester, it’ll likely be open season for snaps behind Boutte as the No. 1 option.
The Tigers will have an abundance of talent to work with this offseason at the receiver position and who stands out in spring ball and into the summer could ultimately dictate who earns the reps early in the season.