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2017 WR Justin Jefferson Signs with LSU

Orgeron adds another to the 2017 signing class. 

NCAA Football: Louisiana State Spring Game Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

LSU added a new member to its 2017 signing class today:

Yes, that’s the latest Jefferson brother to ink with LSU, following in the footsteps of older brothers Jordan and Rickey. Justin is a less heralded recruit than either of his older brothers, ranking as a three-star WR. Still, at 6-2, 180 pounds he’s got a nice frame for D1 and held offers from Northwestern and Tulane.

SEC Country’s Sam Spiegelman reports Jefferson wrapped up his summer course work six weeks ago:

This is the latest effort to add bodies to a receiver corps that’s desperately thin. On Monday, the staff shifted five-star athlete JaCoby Stevens to WR from safety. In the Miles era, maintaining a playing group of 4-5 wideouts would easily cover enough depth for the position, due to the lack of rotation or widespread usage of spread formations. New offensive coordinator Matt Canada is looking to open up the passing game a bit more, both by using more spread looks, but also by utilizing a heavy rotation of players at the position.

Orgeron has made it clear he expects every scholarship receiver on the roster to contribute. That’s nine total players, three of which are true freshmen. Jefferson makes 10. Chark is the clear number one Z while Drake Davis and Russell Gage will duke it out for the No. 1 X spot. The other could wind up in the slot, where JaCoby Stevens will also reportedly get looks early on. However the depth chart breaks out ultimately probably doesn’t matter much to Matt Canada, who will seek to put players in position to make plays, rather than confine them to designated roles. It should be a welcome change to an offense that’s felt very much boxed in in recent years.

Jefferson’s path to LSU was likely cleared by the departure of Seth Stewart, who somewhat mysteriously left the program Sunday evening.

Here are Jefferson’s highlights:

Right off the bat you can see the good frame and ability to pluck the football. He’s a long strider, but looks smooth and easy running. Doesn’t get a ton of looks at route running, but that size/speed combo looks D1 worthy. Not sure on his full story and it seems like he had some academic hurdles, which may explain the lack of other offers.

Jefferson looks like a pretty stock D1 WR talent to me. I’m not sure he’s a guy that will break into LSU’s rotation, but he should provide solid depth. Additionally, it shouldn’t be underestimated that this is a good kid from a good family. This staff knows he will come in, do his work and take care of business without issue. At worst, he’s a special teams contributor and capable camp body for increased passing reps in camp. At best, you factor him into the rotation a year or two down the line and have additional depth at a position that’s currently sorely lacking it.

All in all, a win for all parties.