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Better Know a Freshman: Kayshon Boutte

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Louisiana’s top recruit should be a star in the slot

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: JAN 02 Under Armour All-America Game Photo by Roy K. Miller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

LSU hasn’t had a problem attracting top-flight receiver talent. Between 2009 and 2019, the Tigers signed five five-star wide receivers: Rueben Randle, Jarvis Landry, Malachi Dupre, Tyron Johnson and Terrace Marshall.

Getting talented wide receivers to Baton Rouge wasn’t the problem. The issue was until last year, LSU never had the proper offense in place to utilize the talents of those first four names. Randle made first-team All-SEC in 2011 and Landry showed what LSU could be in 2013; but the Tigers couldn’t keep the offensive breakthrough in 2013 going and Dupre had a rather unremarkable career, while Johnson transferred after his freshman season.

We know what happened last year. Joe Brady and Steve Ensminger helped bring the LSU offense into the 21st century. Marshall caught 13 touchdowns and was third on his own team. With the offense now modernized, future five-star receivers, like Kayshon Boutte, can expect to put up massive numbers while setting themselves up to be a highly drafted player.

The Story

There have been numerous tightly contested recruiting battles between LSU and Alabama for Louisiana athletes, and Boutte is one of the latest editions. LSU offered Boutte first, in June of 2018. Four months later, Boutte unofficially visited campus during the Mississippi State game—the infamous Devin White ejection if you recall—and Boutte committed to the Tigers.

Alabama would come calling soon after and recruited Boutte about as hard as a school can. First there was an offer in May of 2019, right as Boutte’s junior year drew to a close. In June he partook in a Bama camp and a month later he unofficially visited Tuscaloosa. It wouldn’t be the last time Boutte made his way to Tuscaloosa, three months after his unofficial visit he officially visited campus the same week the Tide played Arkansas. In December Pete Golding, the Tide’s top-recruiter, made the trip to Westgate to visit Boutte at his home.

But Boutte wouldn’t waver from his commitment to LSU. He unofficially visited Baton Rouge two weeks after meeting with Golding and on December 18, Boutte signed his LSU letter of intent.

There was still the matter of grabbing that fifth star and at the Under Armour All-American Game, Boutte wowed showing off his speed and strong hands. His efforts elevated him from the No. 49 overall prospect to No. 20 and a five-star composite prospect.

The Numbers

Five-stars (98-110 rating): The top 32 players in the country to mirror the 32 first round picks in the NFL Draft. These are 32 players that we believe are the most likely to be drafted in the first round from each recruiting class. The full list of 32 with five-star ratings typically isn’t complete until the final ranking. Any player with a rating of more than 100 is considered a “franchise player” and one that does not come around in every recruiting class.

Four-stars (90-97 rating): These are players that we believe are the most likely to produce college careers that get them drafted. By National Signing Day, this number is typically in the range of 350 prospects, roughly the top 10 percent of prospects in a given class.

Three-stars (80-89 rating): This is where the bulk of college football prospects are found and it incorporates a large range of ability levels, all of whom we consider as possible NFL players long term.

Two-stars (70-79 rating): These are prospects that we consider to be FBS-level players with very limited NFL potential.

247 Composite Rating: *****

247 Composite Ranking: .9894

The Film

Boutte shows a really good initial burst off the line of scrimmage and is devastating on jet sweeps. He’s got great acceleration and seems to have a future returning kicks.

The Future

Because LSU is so deep at wide receiver, I’m curious how much we see Boutte in whatever 2020 season we’ll have. Simply put, he’s not going to leapfrog Marshall, Ja’Marr Chase, or Racey McMath. The staff is also high on sophomore Trey Palmer, and Max has done an awesome job detailing how freshman tight end Arik Gilbert can be used in a multitude of ways. There’s only so many balls that can go around, so Boutte may not have a particularly productive freshman season. But Chase, Marshall and McMath should all be off to the NFL next spring and that will open the door for Boutte to assume the Justin Jefferson role and star in the slot.

High End: Future First-Team All-SEC player, fringe All-American and first round draft pick

Low End: Gets lost in the shuffle of all the talent LSU has on the current roster and passed up by some of the players in the 2021 class

Realistic: I see Boutte having a Jarvis Landry/Justin Jefferson kind of career. He’ll flash potential as a freshman, erupt as a sophomore working out of the slot and will be a first or second round pick whenever he declares for the draft