Summer Top 50 - No. 22 John Diarse

A wide receiver whose nickname is "Deuce" comes in at double deuce on TSD's countdown of the top 50 LSU football players for 2015.

Because everyone loves to rank things, and because summer is the best time to argue and debate, TSD is spending the coming weeks through the end of July rolling out its top 50 LSU football players for the coming season.

Many are seasoned veterans and a select few are new to the roster, but all 50 Tigers figure to make an impact on the gridiron in 2015.

So we hope you enjoy this list, updated once each weekday and compiled by the TSD staff of Ben Love and Hunter Paniagua (who, naturally, had disagreements of their own along the way).

Today the countdown arrives at a veteran receiver at No. 22, physical redshirt sophomore John Diarse.


The old saying surrounding Cris Carter was that all the former Minnesota Vikings receiver did was catch touchdowns. Well, so far in his LSU career, just about all that Diarse does is catch balls for first downs or touchdowns. Consider that last fall, after taking a redshirt year in 2013, 11 of Diarse's 15 total grabs moved the chains or put points on the board. That's an impressive haul, especially when you consider Diarse was playing quarterback just two years ago while at Neville High School.

Diarse, a physical converted wide-out at 6-foot, 210 pounds, also displayed a flair for the big play. He reeled in touchdowns of 75 yards in the bowl games, 36 yards in the season opener versus Wisconsin and scored an important touchdown at Texas A&M that helped ensure the final margin of victory for the Tigers in College Station.

Aside from his physical attributes and ability in run-blocking, Diarse also has some momentum. He started the final three games for LSU in 2014, taking over for Trey Quinn after the freshman dropped a few passes in the Alabama game. With taller options surrounding him in Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural, Diarse makes for a very attractive option in the slot, able to help out young quarterbacks and, so far, habitually breaking arm-tackles from defensive backs.


What Diarse must prove is that he still belongs toward the front of the line in the receiving corps despite fresh, talented blood coming into the program. Yes, there's the two presumed starters in Dupre and Dural. There's also Quinn coming back (who by the way did finish second in receptions a season ago despite his late-season fade). Add onto that D.J. Chark, who blossomed this spring and has both a height and speed advantage on Diarse, and highly acclaimed freshmen Tyron Johnson and Derrick Dillon.

The point is clear: there's an abundance of options for position coach Tony Ball. That's another thing that may not be exactly pointing in Diarse's favor. Diarse had climbed to third in the pecking order toward the end of the season, impressing then-coach Adam Henry. Now the Monroe native has to make the climb again in front of a new coach, one that isn't likely to lean as heavily on exploits prior to his arrival.

Overall Diarse is a very solid receiver and is definitely still growing in his route-running. But it is fair to wonder how much solid, consistent receivers will see the field in 2015 and beyond given many of the physically spectacular options (taller, leaner, faster) that continue to come in each National Signing Day in large numbers. We'll see beginning in August how much staying power "Deuce" has.

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