Not everything that glitters is [purple and] gold. LSU Football has had a disappointing last two years following arguably the greatest single season in the history of the sport in 2019. There have been few things to celebrate during a span that’s seen the Tigers post their first .500 and sub-.500 seasons since the turn of the century. Of course, there have been a few positives, but even those have come and go on most days as far as this program is concerned.
Following the departures of Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase (for all intents and purposes, his last season was 2019, as well), LSU was left wondering what the future held for the wide receiver position. Terrace Marshall Jr. returned for 2020 after an underrated run during the National Championship year, but that was it for the guaranteed stars—until Kayshon Boutte burst onto the scene. The New Iberia native has established himself as one of college football’s top wideouts, a claim that was backed up on Thursday morning with a special announcement. In a press release sent out by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation on Thursday, LSU’s superstar wide receiver was named to the Biletnikoff Award’s preseason watchlist.
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Boutte was the only member of the Tigers to be named to the list. This comes as a bit of a surprise considering how Jack Bech ended last season. The Freshman didn’t put up crazy numbers (43 receptions, 439 yards and three touchdowns), but he did emerge as a top option for Brian Kelly’s new offense with his production. In the end, Boutte was one of five receivers in the Southeastern Conference to earn a place on the watchlist, alongside Brock Bowers (Georgia), Jermaine Burton (Alabama), Corey Rucker (South Carolina) and Cedric Tillman (Tennessee). Last season’s winner, USC’s Jordan Addison (formerly of Pittsburgh), is also included.
Boutte’s inclusion on the list just seems to confirm what many LSU fans already know: the junior is expected to bounce back in a big way. He only appeared in six games last season due to a severe ankle injury he sustained against Kentucky. This was seen as a tragic development in the young career of such a talented receiver.
Before his injury, Boutte was on his way to surpassing all of his numbers from his freshman season. He racked up over 500 yards and nine touchdowns in just six games. In an offense that resembled one from the Cam Cameron era in terms of its stagnant and uncreative displays, Boutte managed to stand out for all of the right reasons.
The Tigers’ offense has a lot of question marks surrounding it heading into the 2022 season. Many fans are still unsure about which quarterback will line up under center against Florida State on September 4, never mind the remainder of the offense. In a time filled with a plethora of uncertainties, Boutte is the physical embodiment of a guarantee. Head Coach Brian Kelly may not know what type of production he will get out of his team as a whole, but there’s no doubt about whether or not Boutte will dazzle spectators on a weekly basis or not.
In addition to being named to the Biletnikoff Award’s preseason watchlist, Boutte has found himself on many outlets’ preseason All-American lists. He will also wear the prestigious No. 7 for LSU this year. Kelly mentioned earlier in the spring that he would leave it up to the players to decide whether to award the No. 7 and No. 18 jerseys to deserving players—the verdict is in. This is an obvious vote of confidence for Boutte from his teammates ahead of an exciting season.
What do you expect to see from Boutte this season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter!