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Trindon Holliday: All Hype

Recently, I read an interview by a recruit that Ole Miss is heavily pursuing. He named LSU his leader, stating as one of his reasons that he liked the way they use Trindon Holliday. This prospect, apparently, fashions his style of play after Holliday's.

I've heard pundit after pundit talk about Trindon Holliday and what an explosive player he is. Sure he is. He won the national championship in collegiate track's 100 meter dash. If he gets into open field, and no one has an angle on him, he's gone.

But... he doesn't. Les Miles doesn't get him the ball enough, and Holliday doesn't do enough with the ball when he does get it.

Trindon Holliday's career stats through this week:

Year Rushing Attempts Rushing Yards Receptions Receiving Yards PRs PR Yards KRs KR Yards
2006 14 172 0 0 1 6 5 162
2007 53 364 2 3 1 0 19 468
2008 21 114 2 33 30 279 27 609
2009 14 59 3 36 21 210 15 346

The most glaring stat: 4 years. 7 touchdowns. Is that what anyone expected from the fastest player in college football? Sure, he's not a goal line or short yardage back, but you would think that, with the opportunities he has been given, he would have scored at least ten long touchdowns.

But that's just it. He hasn't been given opportunities on offense. In 2007, he averaged over seven yards per carry, but he only got the ball 53 times. 7.4 yards per carry. That's far above average, but Les Miles didn't give him the football. Let's not forget that in 2007, LSU won a national championship. That year, Holliday touched the ball on offense 55 times. He hasn't touched it that many times in the two years following that combined.

Against Washington this season, in a game that was a big-play away from being a sure LSU victory (instead of a close one), Holliday touched the ball once on offense, eeking out one lone yard on his rushing attempt.

Yes. Trindon Holliday is really really fast, but is he really the returner that LSU fans make him out to be? This season, his punt return stats put him at 11th in the country in yards per return, but if you take away his 50 yard return versus Tulane, a terrible team that LSU beat 42-0, he is put back at a paltry 8 yards per return, placing him near the bottom of the top 50 punt returners nationally. His kickoff returns don't rank in the top 50 this season.

So if he's not a return specialist and is not used as an offensive weapon, what is he? A misuse of talent. And that misuse of talent is one of the many reasons that once-sane (if that's possible) LSU fans are upset with Les Miles.