ESPN includes Malik Nabers among college football’s top 10 receivers in 2023

Many expected the 2023 season to be a breakout campaign for former LSU receiver Kayshon Boutte, but instead, a different wideout emerged as new quarterback Jayden Daniels’ favorite target.

Malik Nabers burst onto the scene to become one of the SEC’s best receivers. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard threshold in 2022, and with his quarterback returning next fall, many see him as having a chance to emerge as one of the best pass-catchers in the entire nation.

ESPN is among that group, as its staff ranked Nabers the No. 7 receiver in college football entering the season. He was also the highest-ranked receiver in the SEC.

Here’s what Chris Low wrote.

Year: Junior
2022 stats: 72 receptions, 1,017 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns.
Points: 35

LSU quarterback Jayden Danielsonly got better as the season progressed a year ago, and so did his favorite receiver. Nabers led the Tigers with 72 catches for 1,017 yards. He finished with just three touchdown receptions, but look for that number to increase in 2023. Nabers was the first LSU receiver to rack up 1,000 or more receiving yards since Ja’Marr Chase and Justin Jefferson both did it during the 2019 national championship season. The 6-foot, 200-pound player earned Freshman All-SEC honors in 2021 and then blossomed into the Tigers’ go-to receiver as a sophomore.

Nabers is plenty capable of making plays in the deep passing game, but where he’s at his best is getting the ball in space and making things happen after the catch. He’s elusive and is rarely brought down by the first defender. He’s also athletic enough to go up and make contested catches even when the defender has good coverage. Nabers wasn’t able to play his senior year of high school because of a transfer rule, so this will be only his third season of football since he was a junior in high school. He emerged as one of college football’s top breakout receivers a year ago. He has all the tools to be one of the top receivers, period, this coming season.

LSU has a talented receiver group that may keep him from having a truly ridiculous year statistically, but he’ll demand a lot of attention from opposing secondaries as he looks to build on the rapport he developed with Daniels.

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Story originally appeared on LSU Tigers Wire