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An Appreciation: WR Brandon LaFell

Third in a series on seniors leaving the SEC.

Perhaps the strongest thing you could say about Brandon LaFell is "Nov. 18, 2006." That's the last time the LSU wide receiver played in a football game and didn't make a catch. And that consistency is what made LaFell a player worth remembering.

QB Jonathan Crompton (Tennessee)
RB Anthony Dixon (Mississippi St.)
Because, when you look at the numbers, there aren't many signature games in LaFell's career. The showdown with Virginia Tech in 2007 was his only 100-yard game against a marquee opponent. His 1,721 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns over the past two seasons have been the result more of showing up for each game than a breakout performance here or there.

That was also what made him easy to miss amid the hype about younger wideouts like Alabama's Julio Jones and Georgia's A.J. Green. People might forget that LaFell actually had more receiving yards and touchdowns than Jones in 2008 and needed just 25 more receiving yards to lead the conference. No one had more receptions.

LaFell was not quite as good this year. He was still one of the top five or ten receivers in the league, depending on how you measure that. But he was not unquestionably one of the top three -- indeed, you can make arguments that Green, Ole Miss' Shay Hodge, Auburn's Darvin Adams, Florida's Riley Cooper and Arkansas' Greg Childs all had better years than LaFell in 2009.

But there have been few as consistent as LaFell over his four years at LSU. He might not have been one of the league's biggest stars -- but he proved that you don't have to be one to be very, very good.

Brandon LaFell, 2006-09
47 175 2,517 14.4 25