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2013 Mizzou Walkthrough: Washington is a leader, field stretcher

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Bill Carter

L'Damian Washington

#2 | 6'4, 205, Sr. | Shreveport, LA

2010: 7 targets, 5 catches (71%), 35 yards (5.0/target)

2011: 28 targets, 20 catches (71%), 364 yards (13.0/target), 3 TD

2012: 55 target, 25 catches (46%), 443 yards (8.1/target), 2 TD

Bill C.: He came to Columbia with an incredible back story that made you root for him from the start. Entering his fifth year, he's a captain. Off the field, he has become an incredible leader, tougher and stronger than anybody reading this. On the field, he struggled last year. After showing absurd deep-ball potential in 2011, he regressed toward the mean as a junior, finding it harder to get open against strong defenses and finding his catch rate dropping as the "target" of a lot of desperate, wayward passes.

At one point or another, L'Damian Washington has shown us just about everything we would want to see from a receiver. He showed lovely speed in running away from the Georgia defense. He might have the best fighting-for-balls-in-traffic skills on the team. He isn't as big or physical as DGB or Marcus Lucas, but he's improved in that regard. He could be the field stretcher every team yearns for. He isn't a No. 1 guy, but he probably won't have to be. His value off the field is off the charts; his value on the field can be pretty damn high, too.

Mizzou Rugby: All Washington needs to do is continue to be a deep, speedy threat, and he will help stretch opposing secondaries to the point of breaking with the talent on this list.

The Beef: Another senior, but one who has steadily improved (and eaten) since his arrival to Colmbia. Has he worked himself into someone who receives some post-season attention and perhaps NFL interest? If he does, Mizzou will win some games.

countrycal: If DGB explodes onto the scene this year the way I think he will, then L’Damian is going to get "other man" coverage and that can only be good for Mizzou because the kid could put up unbelievable yards-per-catch numbers and points on the board. I am looking for this Captain to be the receiver-no-one-thought-about-who-killed-us outside of Columbia.

D-Sing: DGB may be the number one target, but I do think Washington is the key to the passing game. As the nominal starter based on the July depth chart at the "Z" receiver, Washington’s speed and size could be the key to unlocking some space underneath for DGB/slot receivers/tight ends. He doesn’t have to catch passes every game, but just staying healthy and being a threat has value in and of itself.