The competitive nature of wide receivers runs deep, especially between teammates.
Receivers have to demand their quarterback’s attention and consistently prove why they’re more deserving of the ball than their peers. It’s easy for egos to clash – many bring the ‘me, me, me’ attitude from the field into their everyday life.
It isn’t the most nurturing environment for budding friendships.
But in the face of one of sports’ most battle-ridden positions, LSU junior wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry found a way to foster a thriving friendship on and off the field.
“It’s kind of like a brother I’ve never had,” Beckham said with a quick smile over to his teammate. “We’re close. I can look at him in his interview and I can know what’s going through his mind, that type of thing. It’s honestly something I
never would’ve expected to have coming from someone I didn’t know off the bat.”
The friendship began casually enough at a 7-on-7 camp heading into the then-high school standouts’ junior years — Beckham coming from one of the state’s most affluent high schools in Isidore Newman and Landry hailing from Lutcher High School in St. James Parish.
On the outside, the two didn’t seem to have much in common.
Beckham described Landry as a country boy right down to the cowboy hat and boots.
But one thing brought the soon-to-be comrades together more than anything: they could catch the football.
“I was amazed by the things he could do,” Landry said. “I had never been around a guy who could catch the ball like I catch the ball, and run fast, and challenge me to change my game, and find something to stand out. ... I thought I was the only guy in Louisiana who could catch the ball like that.”
After that weekend, the athletic admiration rapidly grew into a full-fledged friendship. The two became so close that Landry said Beckham approached him saying he wanted to commit wherever Landry was going.
“[Beckham] came to me and said ‘Wherever you go, I want to go,’” Landry said. “‘I want to compete with you, I want to be on the field together and we’ll be unstoppable.’ ... Even though he committed on signing day, I knew he was going to come here.”
Three years later, the
tandem is now the highlight of LSU’s
Of the Tigers’ 33 receptions this season, Beckham and Landry combine for 23 of them. Landry currently holds a slight lead with 13 catches, but Beckham claims a 254 to 180 advantage in yards. The friends are tied with three
When asked who they think ends the season with more receiving yards, there wasn’t a moment of hesitation in either’s voice as they immediately said the other.
“It’ll probably be him,”
Beckham said. “We’ve never really compared stats and sat down and said I did this or I did that. It’s kind of just we want to go out there and do our thing like brothers do. ... It’s more like a joking matter, like ‘you got a touchdown, now I have to get one.’ That type of thing.”
According to Landry, the pair feeds off each other’s energy in the game. The competitive relationship between the two keeps the game interesting, particularly in a blowout-type situation like LSU saw last week in a 56-17 win against UAB.
Senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger recently described his new-favorite receiving tandem as ‘Dumb and Dumber’ thanks to the pair’s jocular personalities and tight-knit friendship.
Beckham wouldn’t say who he thought was the Jim Carrey or Jeff Daniels of the two, but Landry did give a clue to the personalities of the duo.
“I’m more of the serious type and Odell is always loose,” Landry said. “I think that’s just a difference as far as personality wise for us. He’s a clown.”