Publisher's Notes: Every weekday until the LSU football team reports for Fall Camp on Sunday, Aug. 4, TSD will unveil another player in our top 50 Tigers for the 2013 season. We arrived at this list by combining individual rankings from TSD's Austin Cooper, Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua. For example, a player who received a No. 1 vote got 50 points, a No. 2 vote got 49 points, and so on. Every player who received votes had his points totaled across all three individual lists, and the result was our final TSD ranking. All players, including incoming signees, were eligible for selection.
No. 17 – WR Travin Dural
The only player in TSD's top 20 who is yet to play a down of collegiate football, redshirt freshman Travin Dural is projected to do big things in 2013 if he can stay healthy. During Fall Camp 2012, as a true freshman, Dural impressed the coaching staff to the point where he was being considered for kickoff returns and even some time at wide receiver. However, he sustained an ACL injury that August which forced Dural to miss the entire 2012 season.
The 6-foot-2, 180-pounder from Breaux Bridge bounced back this spring, establishing himself as the offense's starting X-receiver, lapping senior James Wright (No. 48 on the countdown) in the process. Dural is likely to receive heavy competition for that role once JuCo transfer Quantavius Leslie (No. 28) enters the mix this August. Still, there's no denying the fact that the super-athletic Dural raises the bar for LSU at the X from where it was a season ago. A healthy Dural is a virtual lock to improve the vertical passing game this fall.
By The Numbers
Dural's highest ranking: 12th
Dural's lowest ranking: 26th
Why this ranking is too high
Inexperience and recent injury history. The former isn't really as big of a concern given the fact that the Tiger staff liked enough of what it saw from him in three weeks of practice last August to consider him for immediate playing time. But the latter is something Dural is hoping won't become a nagging thing with him. Knee injuries aren't always the easiest to bounce back from, evidenced by the fact that Dural did miss a small portion of spring drills with a flare-up. If he ends up back on the shelf in 2013, this ranking is too high.
Why this ranking is too low
LSU's offense has been crying out for a legitimate deep threat ever since Rueben Randle left Baton Rouge, particularly with strong-armed Zach Mettenberger at quarterback. Dural is the best semblance of that yet. At 6-foot-2 he's got good height to play the position, yet Dural still maintains sprinter-level speed and can really jump up to grab the ball at its highest point. If he can avoid the injury bug this fall, there's no telling how much Dural could transform the Tiger offense.
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View TSD's Top 50 to date
No. 17 - Travin Dural
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