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Training Camp Heat Check: Receiver

The No. 1 is in place, but who will fit in on the other side of D.J. Chark.

LSU v Texas A&M Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The narrative has always been that receivers are under-utilized at LSU, but the position is one of the major question marks for the offense entering 2017, with very little returning experience.

There’s a lot of talent here, just as always. We just don’t know which of it is ready to produce when it’s time to play an actual game.

LSU Wide Receivers

Player Ht/Wt Recruiting Status
Player Ht/Wt Recruiting Status
7 D.J. Chark (Sr.) 6-3, 187 Three-star recruit.
83 Russell Gage (Sr.) 6-0, 179 Three-star recruit.
19 Derrick Dillon (So.) 5-11, 181 Four-star recruit.
10 Stephen Sullivan (So.) 6-6, 235 Four-star recruit.
11 Dee Anderson (So.) 6-5, 202 Four-star recruit.
25 Drake Davis (So.) 6-3, 217 Four-star recruit.
86 Mannie Netherley (Fr.) 6-3, 185 Four-star recruit.
82 Jalen Williams (Fr.-RS) 6-3, 221 Walk-on.
81 Racey McMath (Fr.) 6-3,213 Three-star recruit.

Incumbent: D.J. Chark

There’s a lot of confidence in the emergence of this speedy senior as the No. 1 target. He was arguably the most consistent receiver in 2016 as the No. 3 option, and has already shown a talent for running the jet sweeps that Matt Canada likes to incorporate into his attack.

Focus: No. 2

Fellow senior Russell Gage started three games last season and came out of spring practice as the presumptive No. 2 option here. But there’s no guarantee that he holds onto that spot with some big-time talents on his heels.

Drake Davis, the uber-talented former IMG Academy recruit, was able to work his way into the No. 3 role in the spring. Gage is a good athlete — a former high school quarterback with a reported 40-inch vertical leap — but he’s unlikely to become the big-play threat that Chark is or that the other receivers here could become. Dee Anderson and Stephen Sullivan both offer more imposing size, while Derrick Dillon and Racey McMath have the kind of speed that will almost certainly get them on the field in some capacity.

X-Factor: Drake Davis

We’ve talked about it before, but in terms of raw talent, there really is nobody that can match Davis. He has size, speed and so much athleticism that he was able to dabble in soccer and basketball at IMG. But that’s just it: Davis, by his own admission, could get bored with football, hence taking on other sports and quitting football on occasion.

At the college level, at a program like LSU, that won’t cut it. You have to not only work to be able to beat out your own teammates, you also have to convince the coaches that they can trust you to stay engaged and competitive in game situations.

If Davis can do that on a week-in, week-out basis, the sky could be the limit.