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August 25, 2014

Treadwell ready for primetime opportunity

OXFORD, Miss. - Laquon Treadwell has watched plenty of Boise State film in preparation for Thursday night's season opener.

That's required and a bit of a crapshoot considering Boise State has a new head coach and potentially new schemes on both sides of the football. However, no matter the game plan, Treadwell said he's seen something with the cornerbacks that should be of benefit to the Rebels.

"Small," Treadwell said of the Bronco pass-defenders. "I'm watching, and they like to stay on top. They don't come up and get it on the runs too much. We should have a good day."

Boise State is starting 5-foot-9, 152-pound junior Donte Deayon and 5-foot-9, 178-pound senior Ceshawn Page at cornerback. Treadwell is 6-foot-2, 223 pounds and is moving outside to take over Donte Moncrief's spot on the field. Last season, as a freshman in the slot, Treadwell caught 72 passes for 608 yards and five touchdowns.

The 72 catches were the second most in school history, and he set numerous school freshman records en route to SEC Freshman of the Year honors. He's a preseason All-America and All-SEC nominee.

And he says he's better than 2013.

"More explosive, more down the field and how I use my body," Treadwell said. "I'm able to block on the perimeter better and help my team."

Treadwell is down nearly 10 pounds from his posted weight on the roster. He cut out fast food - the toughest was McDonald's - and leaned up his body while developing more muscle tone. Along with Vince Sanders, Treadwell is charged with leading the less experienced teammates at his position.

"No pressure, no pressure at all," Treadwell said of that role. "Keep believing and helping them out. The better they are the better I can be. They are hard workers and ready to play. They're anxious to make plays."

Part of the optimism has to do with a healthy quarterback. Bo Wallace has a chance at several school records currently held by Eli Manning, and he's compiled the stats mostly injured. Wallace's shoulder has been different levels of compromised in 23 of his 26 career starts.

Now healthy, Treadwell can see the different in Wallace, and it opens up the passing game and allows the Rebels to push the ball more.

"His arm is much stronger," Treadwell said. "His reads are easier. He can get the ball to you coming out of your breaks, and it's on time. Not waiting on anything. You can tell the difference a lot. Sometimes you be like, 'come on, Bo, throw the ball.' Now he's anticipating and the ball is there. No waiting. You can tell the difference."

Ole Miss seems to be relishing the primetime opportunity against the Broncos. The platitudes and respect are present, but occasionally the confidence leaks out in interviews. Boise is picked to win its conference and has played spoiler against Power-5 teams throughout the past decade.

Treadwell, however, thinks the step up in nonconference has been a good thing.

"If we were playing a 1-AA school we might go through the motions," Treadwell said. "We know we have the talent to beat them. Boise is known for winning and has some talent. We're trying to stay focused. We know what the goal is.

"Everybody is excited, you can see it. We are ready to show everybody what we've been working on. It's been so long. Staying humble about it but ready to go out Thursday night… I tell everybody it's the coming out party. It's the new normal."


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