The ongoing quarterback competition in Baton Rouge has stolen the show this offseason. Rightly so. LSU's aerial attack from a year ago was one big letdown, and well, there is obviously at least some concern among the faithful heading into the 2015 campaign. Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris appear to be fairly comparable quality-wise, but whoever ultimately ends up behind center will be expected to make great strides this season. Fortunately for these field generals, a new wide receiver has arrived in Baton Rouge: a highly talented youngster by the name of Tyron Johnson.
Les Miles and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron reeled in some phenomenal offensive weapons in this season's recruiting class, but none appear to be more impressive than the wideout Johnson (listed as No. 30 in the 2015 ESPN 300 national player rankings).
Johnson, a New Orleans product, has size (6'1"/185) without compromising on speed. After bossing around high school secondaries, Johnson clearly has the physicality to compete in the SEC right away. His greatest strength may be his versatility, which naturally means his route tree will likely grow to be quite expansive. With that said, a fly route just might be the ticket in some scenarios with this guy. While Johnson has the ability to turn a five yard completion into an 80-yard score, he has been pegged as a "quicker than he is fast" type.
Johnson is shifty in the open field and puts some nasty dekes on DBs (always a crowd-pleaser). Oh, and one more thing Johnson brings to the table: he can return kicks and punts. Johnson could certainly contribute right away, most likely as a WR3 behind Travin Dural and Malachi Dupre and perhaps as a return man. Dural amassed 758 receiving yards in 2014, but he did so on a meager 37 receptions (yeah, do that yards per reception math). A true home run threat, Dural is more of a feast or famine wideout.
The shift from 2013 to 2014 was far from a smooth segue for the Tigers' offense. Zach Mettenberger had the offensive unit humming in 2013, which was due in large part to the NFL-caliber WR tandem of Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry. Dural and Dupre combined for an impressive 12 TDs last season, but the true go-to possession receiver is nowhere to be found at the moment.
Yes, LSU will ground and pound their way through some gritty contests, with Leonard Fournette trudging through the trenches with loads of carries game in and game out. But feed the rock to No. 7 repeatedly and that box will get awfully stacked. Boom.
Geaux long, Tyron.