Thursday, August 2, 2007

2007 Recruiting - Terrance Toliver

This handsome gentleman is the last of the 2007 LSU football recruits that we at GeauxTuscaloosa will profile. This is it. The last one. The ultimate. That's an appropriate choice of words. Ultimate. He is Terrance Toliver, 5-star wide receiver out of Hempstead, Texas. He is 6'4" 185# and runs a sub-4.5 40 yard dash.

Toliver enters a pretty good situation for a young wide receiver. LSU lost two great wideouts to the NFL Draft, and needs to find production either from other receivers currently on the roster or from new recruits. Toliver joins a class that includes Demetrius Byrd, Ron Brooks, and John Williams, plus current receivers Brandon Lafell, Chris Mitchell, Jared Mitchell, and Ricky Dixon fighting for the snaps and touches that Dwayne Bowe and Craig Davis leave behind.

While practice doesn't start until Friday, "practice" *wink* started long ago. The team has been running 7-on-7 drills since early in the summer. Of course, the coaches aren't allowed to attend the drills, but there is nothing in the world saying they can't have offices that happen to overlook the practice field, and there's even less saying they can't get feedback from the people who are present.

By all accounts, Terrance Toliver has been a standout at these drills. He has also put on weight in the weight room, which was the biggest concern people had of him. A 6'4" inch wide receiver who weighs 185# is pretty thin, and is vulnerable to being hurt or simply taken out of a play by a physical cornerback. But if he's really put on about 10 pounds and is closing in on 200#, his weight is not a big issue anymore. He'll never be a Calvin Johnson, but if he can be a taller Craig Davis, no one will complain. Les Miles has said in the press that Toliver will see playing time very early.

From what I have seen of Toliver, he is a big guy but has gotten away with playing a small game so far in his football life. He'll have to learn to use his size and height to his advantage. There's nothing wrong with being quick and shifty, but if you are quick and shifty and happen to be tall, there's no reason you can't be quick, shifty, AND physical when need be.

We're going to see Toliver in action this year. He's not going to redshirt, and he's probably not going to be playing special teams. He's not a tackler and he's not a returner. He's a wide receiver, and he's making a splash early in his career. Don't be shocked if he has Michael Clayton-esque production in year 1.

And this ends 2007 off-season coverage. Starting tomorrow, we enter pre-season mode, which means less focus on recruiting and more coverage of the team this year. There will still be SOME recruiting analysis, but it will be limited to more "big picture" stuff or bigger news items. I won't report in depth on every commit unless it is a splashy one. Instead, we'll talk about stuff of more immediate importance.

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