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Why LSU Football Signee Deion Smith Is Missing Piece to Receiver Corps

Smith possesses speed, ball skills to make him an impactful contributor in year one

One incoming freshman wide receiver has a chance to be a really special player for LSU. His speed could be the final piece to what LSU needs moving forward.

LSU will bring in several elite skill position prospects for the class of 2021. Which ones actually contribute early will depend on many different combinations of events playing out -- like learning the playbook, conditioning and weightlifting -- before everyone truly knows which recruits make the biggest splashes during the 2021 season. There's one in particular who could burst onto the scene with little to no trouble as it's a position group completely up for grabs. 

If there’s a player within the LSU recruiting class that can wow a crowd with straight line speed, it’s Deion Smith. LSU needs another deep threat to augment the talents of Kayshon Boutte, Koy Moore and Arik Gilbert. All three freshmen made big plays during the 2020 season, but Smith brings an added dimension to Baton Rouge.

The 6-foot-2, 175-pound burner from Jackson (Miss.) Jackson Academy places defensive coordinators in an unenviable position. Who do you double? Which situations will be best to blitz, if at all? Play zone and keep everything in front of us?

All three of LSU’s current freshmen possess special talents, but Smith truly is the final piece to make the LSU offense an elite passing game. The 2019 season is proof of what the combination of a horizontal and vertical passing game can do to defenses.

Even when Joe Burrow was under serious duress, the speed of Ja’Marr Chase often provided an outlet where Burrow could throw a deep ball and Chase made a play. To be in that position, however, Chase’s speed was often the key element.

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You cannot teach it. It’s God-given. That burst, that separation. Chase possessed that extra gear even when going against elite cornerbacks that few possessed. Smith’s style of play is very much like Chase.

Now, nobody is saying Smith is going to come to LSU and immediately be Chase. That’s a ridiculous notion. Burrow isn’t walking into Tiger Stadium again either. With that said, LSU’s wide receiver riches are complete once Smith learns some of the basic concepts of the offense, allowing him to take the top off the defense on one side of the field with Boutte lined up on the other side of the field.

Perhaps the biggest aspect of Smith’s game to improve between now and next September would be adding muscle mass. He’s a skinny player right now, but Chase needed to add a little muscle when he arrived as well. Let’s see what Smith does over the course of the next nine months.

It’s up to Smith to make an impact by way of his effort between now and next fall camp. He’s a burner. Combined with Boutte, another speedster, and Moore and Gilbert, that’s an incredible group. Ironically, LSU’s wide receiver riches will also include Chris Hilton from nearby Zachary High School. He’s another talented wide receiver that’s as crafty as he is fast.

Perhaps the combination of Hilton and Smith will push one another? Competition often breeds success. Bottom line, LSU possesses a unique blend of elite wide receiver talent in the class of 2021, and Smith appears to be the best bet for another star freshman wide receiver. LSU fans should be truly excited to see this young man play. He’s a special talent.