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blacksaint 08-20-2007 08:33 PM

Doucet Emerges As LSU’s Go-To Guy
By Alex Abrams
The Morning News/Razorback Central

FAYETTEVILLE — LSU wide receiver Early Doucet had some options after last season. Of course, his decision seemed obvious.

Doucet watched earlier this year as several teammates decided to leave school after their junior seasons to enter the NFL Draft. He could have done the same.

But when it came time for him to make a decision on whether he should stay or go, the answer was a no-brainer.

“I knew from the get-go that I would be coming back to LSU for my senior season,” Doucet said. “So (there) wasn’t really any thoughts about leaving early for the draft or anything like that.”

Naturally, LSU coach Les Miles was pleased with the wide receiver’s decision to return for one more season. The Tigers have an abundance of talent, as usual, but a game-breaker with Doucet’s speed and versatility is always welcomed.

“(He) really just said, ‘Another year is what I need to do,’” Miles said of Doucet’s decision not to enter the NFL Draft, where he was projected as a high pick. “He’s improved (and) is continuing to improve.”

The 6-foot, 206-pound senior is like most wide receivers who have come through LSU, which is to say he’s explosive and capable of changing a game in a variety of ways.

He was instrumental in LSU’s surprising 41-14 rout of Notre Dame in last season’s Sugar Bowl, catching eight passes for a career-high 115 yards.

And even though he played alongside two future first-round draft picks in wide receivers Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis, Doucet was the Tigers’ second-leading receiver in 2006 with 59 catches for 772 yards and eight touchdowns.

He should have more opportunities now that he’s clearly LSU’s go-to guy.

“I kind of miss (Bowe and Davis), but I get a chance to get a little bit more passes thrown my way,” Doucet said. “We have a bunch of young guys that are going to be in there, getting a piece of the pie, too.

“So we’re going to spread it out for everybody to get a chance to make plays.”

Aside from the University of Southern California, no college football team has amassed as much jaw-dropping, head-turning talent as LSU.

How else could one explain the Tigers being ranked No. 2 in the preseason polls, despite losing four first-round draft picks from last year’s team — including quarterback and first overall selection JaMarcus Russell?

In order for LSU to remain in the national championship hunt, the key will be for quarterback Matt Flynn — who spent two seasons as Russell’s backup — to prove he can get the job done.

Flynn must adjust to a new offensive coordinator in Gary Crowton, but at least he’ll have Doucet to throw to.

“I just want to be a wide receiver that can do anything — block, run after the catch, run great routes, be consistent at catching the ball,” Doucet said. “Just a jack of all trades.”

NFL executives have already taken notice.


* Head coach: Les Miles, third year

* Record last year: 11-2, 6-2

* Returning offensive starters: 6

* Returning defensive starters: 8

* Offensive formation: Multiple

* Defensive formation: 4-3

* Impact players: Quarterback Matt Flynn; wide receiver Early Doucet; defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey; cornerback Chevis Jackson Doucet Emerges As LSU’s Go-To Guy

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