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LSU Freshmen Receivers Make Strong Case for Added Playing Time in SEC Play

LSU’s win over Central Michigan could possibly best be described as a breakout game for multiple LSU freshmen receivers. The Tigers were carried throughout the night on big plays made by the 2021 class of offensive weapons.

Jack Bech, Deion Smith, Brian Thomas and Malik Nabers all made impacts at varying degrees but showed the promise this group has with Max Johnson under center and is being protected. 

Starting with receiver turned tight end Bech, who set the tone early and became a critical target for quarterback Max Johnson on third down and scramble plays, the freshman hybrid was tremendous all evening, bringing in five passes for 81 yards and a touchdown. 

He’s been one of the more reliable receivers on the team in the first three weeks and should be a major part of the gameplan moving forward. 

“He is going to catch the ball, he’s going to give some fire. He can go deep and he can catch the short passes,” Orgeron said of Bech. “He’s also blocking in there. He’s a tremendous player, but he is not the only one. We have about eight fantastic receivers, and they need to play.”

Bech started hanging out with Johnson right after he committed and told reporters on Saturday that he quickly built that connection on the field during the summer. While Bech was a counselor at some of the LSU recruiting camps this summer, the duo became even closer with Max’s brother Jake also being a tight end in the upcoming 2022 class.about:blank

“Me and Max, we’ve been close since I committed,” Bech said. “We have really good chemistry and connection right now. We’ve just worked really hard on it all summer. We’ve put in a lot of time but it feels good to be one of those guys to help the team win.

Smith was spectacular as a vertical threat for the purple and gold, hauling in five catches for 135 yards and two touchdowns, both of which came off of spectacular route running and agility that’s hard to find in other 6-foot-2 receivers. 


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