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WEEKEND CATCH-UP: Belated 69 Days to Kickoff - Ricardo Louis

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NICE.

As we continue our march to kickoff, we take a look at the top 100 recruits to sign with Auburn of all-time*. The rankings are based on 247’s composite recruit rankings, which unfortunately only date back to 2000.

THE RECRUIT

Yeah, we’re a little late, but THIS ONE’S GONNA BE FUN.

Ricardo Louis came to Auburn as a 4-star wide receiver from South Florida, with interest and offers from Alabama and Florida State. As a top-20 receiver nationally, his size was actually utilized more as a running back in high school, where he ran for over 700 yards and 13 touchdowns as a senior. He was a part of the 2012 Under Armour All-American Game, and came into Auburn with just one other receiver — JaQuay Williams. He’d be called on to do some big things on the boundary for Gene Chizik’s group.

THE PLAYER

Unfortunately, Chizik lasted only a year into Louis’ tenure on the Plains. After his freshman year, he got to endure the uncertainty of a coaching search and a slow season with just 3 catches for 36 yards. His sophomore year would be better, I promise (wink wink).

SO. Don’t know if you remember, but Auburn was pretty good in 2013, and Louis was a big reason why Auburn nearly won its second national title in a short span. He caught his first career touchdown in the blowout win over Western Carolina midway through the year, but he barely did anything over the next few weeks. Auburn went into the Georgia game at 9-1 and ranked in the top ten, but trailing 38-37 late and facing a 4th and 18, things looked bleak.

Legend has it that Louis basically told Nick Marshall to throw him the ball and that he would catch it. That has to be the only explanation, because Marshall shrugged off a wide open Sammie Coates for a sure first down and heaved the ball into double coverage for Louis, who didn’t even see the ball coming his way.

It’s Rod Bramblett’s best call, in my opinion, and it became the most legendary play in recent Auburn memory for exactly two weeks.

Louis’ career blossomed even more in 2014 as his playmaking ability was further examined. Gus Malzahn and Rhett Lashlee realized that he was one of the fastest guys on the team, and started using him on jet sweeps.

But in his senior season in 2015, he had his best receiving year yet, with 716 yards and 3 touchdowns. Twice he went over 100 yards in a single game, but Auburn was one of the bigger busts around the country after a top ten preseason ranking fell apart.

Louis ended up a 4th round draft pick by the Cleveland Browns in the 2016 NFL Draft, due in large part to his fantastic combine performance, but in the time since his selection, he only caught 45 passes for 562 yards. He was picked up by the Dolphins prior to the 2019 season, but placed on injured reserve for the year.