The Ole Miss wide receiver goes into the Arkansas game on a hot streak but says he can play better.
OXFORD – Watching Laquon Treadwell expand his highlight clips weekly it’s hard to imagine his discontent.
But it’s there.
The Ole Miss wide receiver, an elite player who captured college football’s consciousness with his gruesome injuries last November then regained it with his highly anticipated return this season, isn’t impressed by his numbers.
He’s posted four consecutive 100-yard receiving games, an Ole Miss record.
He leads the SEC in receiving yards by a couple of horse lengths, the 872 he’s compiled ranking No. 12 nationally this week.
He’s tied for the SEC lead in touchdowns with six and leads in receptions per game at 6.8.
“I still think I can get better. I have difficulties coming in and out of my breaks so I can still get better on that. It comes with me getting more comfortable week in and week out,” Treadwell said.
Treadwell looked extremely comfortable – and patient – in the Rebels’ 27-19 win at Auburn last Saturday.
It was the anniversary weekend of his injuries against Auburn the previous season, the broken leg and dislocated ankle that helped that subtracted the Rebels’ best offensive player from their lineup.
Sans Treadwell Ole Miss was able to put together an emotional 31-17 win over rival Mississippi State – the Bulldogs were ranked No. 4 by the playoff committee at the time – but on each side of that lost 30-0 at Arkansas and 42-3 to TCU in the Peach Bowl.
Ole Miss has other weapons at wide receiver, but none like Treadwell.
Auburn recognized that and made sure to shade extra coverage to his side. As a result Treadwell had only one catch in the first half, and the game was tied at 10.
“They were moving coverages trying to take me out of the game. I knew my time was coming. At halftime coach said, ‘Don’t worry about the first half. Let’s go put our foot on their throat in the second half. Go battle and take it from them.’ That’s what we came out and did.”
Treadwell calls it staying in the moment.
Moments like that are coming to him regularly because of the work he’s putting in during the week.
It’s not work without worry.
“I mess with him about his ankle. He thinks it’s not back 100 percent. I’m like, ‘Dude, you’re trippin’,’” Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram said. “He’s always been the monster that he is, but it’s such a confidence thing with him now in his growth off the field, in his spiritual life, how he makes decisions … how he leads.”
Leaders often shun satisfaction.
So as Ole Miss leads the SEC in scoring offense at 39.4 points a game Treadwell is smart enough to peel back the layers and see that much of that gaudy average was compiled when the Rebels posted 70-plus points in back-to-back weeks against Tennessee-Martin and Fresno State and when they surpassed 50 points against New Mexico State.
Florida held the Rebels out of the end zone until roughly 4 minutes remained in the game. Ole Miss trailed 38-3 at the time.
With that in mind Treadwell pushes himself and his team toward attention to detail. It’s the little things that will make a big difference with the Rebels’ offense, he says.
With just a little more attention to detail, a little more consistency in execution Ole Miss would be “very explosive,” Treadwell says. “We miss on a lot of explosive plays just because of the little things. We work hard on it each week, and we’ll continue to get better. The more film we watch the more things we’ll continue to fix and get better.”