LSU flips four-star WR Malik Nabers away from Mississippi State
Throw away the chalk. It's National Signing Day.
Months after landing an offer from LSU and after taking to social media to confirm his commitment to the Bulldogs, four-star Lafayette-area wide receiver Malik Nabers has signed with the Tigers.
Nabers is the No. 11-ranked prospect in Louisiana’s 2021 class and the No. 53-ranked wide receiver in the country. Nabers committed to the Bulldogs on his 17th birthday in July, and at the time, picked them over Georgia and Kentucky. He was offered by LSU during the team’s season-opener against Mississippi State in Baton Rouge on Sept. 26.
Credit LSU wide receivers coach Mickey Joseph for leading the charge for the four-star, who missed his senior season amid LHSAA transfer rules.
Nabers joins a star-studded haul of pass-catchers for the Tigers that includes a trio of Rivals100 talents in Deion Smith, JoJo Earle and Chris Hilton. Additionally, LSU holds a pledge from hybrid receiver-tight end Jack Bech, who like Nabers hails from Lafayette. Both Earle and Hilton elected to wait until February to ink their national letters of intent.
At 6-foot and 190 pounds, Nabers is a three-sport athletes that is well-known on the football field but also dabbles in track and field as well as basketball. Football is his forte and he enjoyed a breakout year in the Comeaux offense as a junior in 2019 as he reeled in 58 catches for 1,223 yards and 21 touchdowns.
Breaking that down a bit further, Nabers averaged better than 21 yards per catch. Also, almost every third reception went for a score.
Nabers owns a 23-second 200-meter time. Speed is an area of his game that is currently in the works. He has clocked unverified 40 times in the 4.5 to 4.6-second range, but certainly plays with enough speed based on film and multiple in-person evaluations. Separation, at times, is an issue, though Nabers battles well for contested balls.
Nabers possesses excellent hands and makes hand-catches away from the body with ease. He has the ability to make outstretched catches and has a knack for spectacular highlight-reel grabs.
Nabers is an advanced route-runner that can overcome speed limitations with fantastic breaks in and out of his routes to separate from defenders in coverage. Nabers is an elite pass-catcher when it comes to contested grabs. Even when he's covered, he's open, and he has the ability to beat double- and triple-teams at times.
Nabers owns a spectacular vertical jump and is a 50-50 ball aficionado. His ability to jump, make hands-catches and do so over defenders in coverage is certainly worth noting. It's essentially a cheat code. Nabers is a downhill runner in space and quickly turns up-field after the catch.
Nabers will need to continue to polish up route-running, build out his frame and try to improve suddenness and downfield speed. Separation will be a major area of his game to fine-tune, but with good route-running and the ability to win on contested catches helps him to overcome those limitations.
He sat out the 2020 football season at Lafayette (La.) Southside due to LHSAA transfer rules.