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LSU Receiver Racey McMath Taking Control of Slot Position, Pair of Freshmen Making an Impact

Moore, Boutte showing early signs of improvement as Tigers start padded practice

LSU has plenty of weapons at its disposal and on Tuesday coach Ed Orgeron confirmed what many had suspected for months. The only question as it pertains to the weapons junior quarterback Myles Brennan will have at his disposal is who will take Justin Jefferson's spot in the slot. 

Orgeron said that senior Racey McMath had secured the starting spot when meeting with reporters earlier this week.

“Racey is doing a great job. Racey is going to be a starter for us," Orgeron said. 

McMath really broke onto the scene last year after spending the first few years of his time with the program primarily as a special teams standout. While he was still a standout on special teams in 2019, he also earned more time on the field, bringing in 17 receptions for 285 yards and three touchdowns. 

Brennan and McMath even shared the field for most of the fourth quarter in the Tigers 50-7 blowout, hooking up on a 58-yard touchdown at the end of the game.

While McMath has certainly proven to be a reliable candidate, there are many other young players who are making an impact during fall camp. Orgeron also mentioned freshmen Kayshon Boutte and Koy Moore as players who have impressed the coaching staff.

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Boutte and Moore come to Baton Rouge as highly touted players with good size and great route running skills. While their futures are bright, it will be hard for them to earn consistent playing time with Ja'Marr Chase, Terrace Marshall and McMath earning the majority of the snaps.

"(Kayshon) Boutte is doing a good job for us. All those guys are doing a great job," Orgeron said. "I fell like we’re really talented at the wide receiver position. The guy I’m really impressed with is (Koy) Moore. He’s done a great job. From Rummel High School, I think he’s going to have an excellent freshman year."

Of course, Orgeron couldn't go the interview without answering a few questions about freshman tight end Arik Gilbert, who will command his fair share of attention this season. The plan initially was to use Gilbert at tight end, the slot and out wide but Orgeron and the staff want him to master the tight end spot first and foremost.

“We want him to learn tight end, get the tight end down. We’re doing a lot of stuff with him," Orgeron said. "We’re flexing him out. He’s in motion. He’s got to do this on this play, do this on this play so we want him to learn the tight end position and get good at that. Then, eventually we could move him out.

"Arik is the type of tight end we’ve been looking for to stretch the field. Yesterday, we ran a vertical route right up the field and he beat the Mike linebacker for a touchdown. That’s a dagger in the heart for the defense."

Having defenses key on Chase, Marshall and Gilbert should open up plenty of avenues for McMath or anyone else the team ultimately could decide to line up in the slot. McMath proved to be a big play threat in 2019 and that's certainly a trend that can continue this season.