NFL DBs—-get ready to look in your rear view mirrors—-because Colorado’s WR Laviska Shenault, Jr. is headed to a stadium near you.
For those of you who may not know Viska’s story yet, he lost his dad (Laviska Shenault Sr.) when he was 10 (killed in an auto accident as a pedestrian) and has kept his promise to his dad to stay out of trouble and do great things.
Viska (nicknamed this by his best friend and teammate, K.D. Nixon, at DeSoto High School in Dallas/Ft. Worth) didn't start playing football until he was in the 9th grade. At DeSoto he played TE until his senior year when he was switched to WR.
Coming out of DeSoto he was a 3 star recruit who caught the eye and imagination of Kliff Kingsbury’s wide receiver coach (at the time), Darrin Chiaverini. But when Chiaverini left Texas Tech to become the OC at Colorado, his first big move was to recruit Viska.
Apparently Alabama made a furious last second pitch and had they been able to get a commitment from Viska, they could have added him to their incoming outstanding WR class with Jerry Jeudy, DaVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs—-wow.
But, Viska decided to go with best friend and fellow WR, K.D. Dixon, to Colorado.
If you have had the chance to see Laviska Shenault Jr. play—-he is a multi-purpose 6-2, 225 stick of dynamite who can score anytime he touches the football, either via a pass, handoff or direct snap (Wildcat). Here, feast your eyes:
At Colorado, as a true freshman, he starred on STs—-scoring has first college TD on a 55 yard fumble return. In limited action at WR, he caught 7 passes for 168 yards, a 24.0 ave.
As a sophomore he burst into the national spotlight by catching 86 passes for 1,011 yards and 6 TDs, while rushing 17 times for 115 yards (6.8 ave. ) and 5 TDs. That was in just 9 games before being sidelined by a torn labrum.
After playing ASU, Herm Edwards said “He’s tough to double team.” After playing UCLA, Chip Kelly called Viska “the most dynamic playmaker in a league of dynamic playmakers,” the Pac 12.
As a junior this past season, Viska played in 11 games and caught 56 passes for 764 yards (13.8 ave.) and 4 TDs while rushing 23 times for 161 yards (7.0 ave.) and 2 TDs.
Most NFL scouts have a 1st round grade on Viska.
While it would appear right now that Jerry Jeudy (Alabama) and Cee Dee Lamb (Oklahoma) are the clear frontrunners in this year’s draft, if Laviska Shenault sets the 2020 NFL Combine on fire by passing all of the tests (medical, interviews, metrics) with flying colors and he runs a sub 4.4 in the 40 at 6-2, 225, he could zoom into the upper half of the 1st round and possibly even into the top 10.
What adds some fascinating context here for Cardinals fans is how close Kliff Kingsbury was to possibly signing Viska to play at Texas Tech, and how close Kingsbury is to Viska’s OC at Colorado, Darrin Chiaverini. Viska and Coach Chev have formed a very close bond over the years.
One can just picture the look on Kliff Kingsbury’s face when he watches Viska going into the beast mode on tape—-and one can just imagine Kingsbury thinking of all of the creative ways he could use this supreme multi-dimensional talent in the offense—-
What’s cool too is the thought of taking Okalhoma’s #1 Kyler Murray in year 1 of the Kingsbury era and taking Oklahoma’s #2 Cee Dee Lamb or Colorado’s #2 Laviska Shenault, Jr, in year 2 of the K2 tenure. Or Alabama’s #4, yeah, that Jerry Jeudy guy, if fate rolls his and the Cardinals’ way. The numbers here seem to add up—if free agency is particularly productive for the Cardinals.
Wide, the slot, the shotgun the backfield, in motion, reverse, jet sweeps—-
Yup, NFL CBs beware—-
It’s Hasta La Viska Time Baby!
Beep beep—-he gone!