Auburn, Ala.--One of the most physically gifted players on the Auburn football roster during his time on the Plains, wide receiver Ricardo Louis is hoping that his hard work since the season pays off in the upcoming NFL Draft.
While his size and speed are among the best for available wide receivers, inconsistency with his hands and route running has pro scouts wondering just where he will fit on the next level. Louis said all he wants is a shot.
“When you get on a roster and make a team, it’s all about competing and playing, making that 53-man roster,” Louis said. “There’s a lot of people that get drafted in the first and second round that don’t play. My mindset is getting on the team and playing.”
Concentrating on the little things with his play at wide receiver, Louis said that has been his main point of emphasis since walking off the turf at Legion Field following the Auburn Tigers bowl win over Memphis in December and he showed that at Auburn’s recent Pro Day.
“It’s just showing the scouts that I really can run good routes,” Louis said. “I really focused on coming out of my breaks and being smooth with everything, catching the ball smooth and just looking good primarily.”
Never the No. 1 target for the Tigers until after the dismissal of Duke Williams during the 2015 season, Louis still managed to put up solid numbers in Auburn’s offense. In four years he caught 98 passes for 1,338 yards and eight touchdowns. Considering that he only had three catches for 36 yards as a freshman that makes what he did even more impressive.
It’s not the lack of eye-popping numbers that NFL scouts question, however, but his natural skills catching the football. A former high school quarterback, Louis has continued to work on his receiving skills, but still struggles with drops at times. Because of his athletic ability there may be another spot for Louis to get a look in the NFL, as a safety.
Working out at the position for Auburn’s Pro Day, Louis said it felt a little strange to be on the other side of the ball for the first time, but he’s willing to do whatever it takes to make a team.
“Whatever teams want me, whatever the position,” Louis said of what he’s willing to play. “I want to play in the league and play as long as I possible can, produce and be part of the reason we win Super Bowls."
While defensive back has become an option, Louis said he’ll continue to work on his wide receiver skills as he prepares for a possible career in the NFL. With every day an opportunity he said that he’ll continue to put in the work and see what happens.
“One of the scouts was telling me I was a little too high and I need to sink down,” Louis said. “I asked him what could I do to improve on that. He gave me some drills I could do, I’m going to end up doing that for the rest of the time I’m here at Auburn.
“Wherever I go train at, I’m going to be working on sinking my heels, getting low, coming out of the breaks like I have been doing and just fine-tuning everything.”
No matter how his career turns out from this point forward Louis will always have a special part in Auburn football history because of one play. On the receiving end of a touchdown pass in a win over Georgia that became known as the “Prayer at Jordan-Hare,” Louis said it’s still something he thinks about and he knows it’s his legacy forever with the program.
“I always think about it,” Louis said. “When I watch it, I try to replay it in my head, but I can’t. It’s something you see in a dream, it’s a dream for me to be able to say that yeah I made that play. People have to sit there and tell me, hey do you know what that play did?
“It was really one of the greatest plays in football history. I look at it as that, but it’s a blessing on God. Not many people are able to be part of something that special or be that guy.”