It took just one season for Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase to show he’s the caliber of player who could one day find himself in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Apparently, the man just named PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year was someone former LSU Tigers head coach Les Miles didn’t believe was capable of playing receiver at the college/NFL level, and instead, should play cornerback (insert John Ross joke).
During his Wednesday meeting with the media, Chase recalled what Miles thought of him as a class of 2018 high school recruit who was still figuring out if he was meant to play receiver or cornerback.
“One of my best stories ever, Les Miles told me I couldn’t play receiver when I was coming out of high school,” Chase revealed. “That was something I had on my shoulders growing up. Les Miles told me he thought I could play cornerback, I wasn’t really in full position at receiver yet. So I just kept working on my craft, offseason, waking up early in the mornings to work out. I just kept focused.”
Miles, as you may recall, coached at LSU from 2005-16 before being fired, then spent two seasons at Kansas before being fired for sexual misconduct allegations from his tenure at LSU.
Chase, who played at Archbishop Rummel High School in Louisiana, would go on to play at LSU under Ed Orgeron. After playing sparingly as a true freshman, Chase erupted for 84 catches, 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns during the 2019 season alongside Heisman-winner Joe Burrow, as LSU went 15-0 and won the national championship.
After opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns, Chase was selected by the Bengals with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, then went on to have the greatest season a rookie receiver has ever had.
I’d say Chase has this receiver thing down just fine.