The LSU Tigers are full of star power entering the 2016 season, with everyone from Leonard Fournette to Arden Key, Kendell Beckwith, Tre’Davious White, Jamal Adams and Lewis Neal in contention for first-team All-SEC and potential All-American buzz.
Yet as important as those players are, there may be no more important position group than wide receiver where Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural need to supply consistency in the passing game, to help the sometimes erratic Brandon Harris. Dural is especially important, as he’s coming off a hamstring injury that forced him to undergo surgery and spend a big portion of the offseason recovering.
That last part is important, because while recovering Dural actually put on nearly 30 pounds. How? By eating way too much Popeyes chicken.
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Honestly, that comment couldn’t help but make me think back to the line from the movie “Tommy Boy” when Tommy Callahan mentions, “The camera adds 10 pounds,” and his buddy asks “Well, how many cameras are on you!?” It’s the same with Dural. How much chicken do you have to eat to gain 27 pounds? That’s especially true when you consider that — as Dural mentions — he actually entered LSU at 178 pounds. Meaning, his weight peaked at nearly 50 pounds more than what it was when he arrived in Baton Rouge.
The weight gain led to more comments, not just from Dural’s mom, but from his coaches as well. That included running backs coach Jabbar Juluke and offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
Instead, he switched to grilled chicken.
Now fully healthy and back at a manageable size, Dural is his old self again. He’ll try to expand on the 28 catches he had last year before suffering the injury that knocked him out of LSU’s final two games.
The Tigers open the season against Wisconsin in less than three weeks from now.