Treadwell focused on making more plays: “I will continue to get better”
Laquon Treadwell’s one-handed, 37-yard touchdown catch from his starting quarterback Chad Kelly was indicative of the type of day the offense was having against New Mexico State (0-5, 0-1 Sun Belt). And while everyone was talking about Treadwell’s off-balanced, one-handed catch, the star wide receiver was more concerned about making more plays just as great.
After Treadwell juked Aggies’ freshman free safety Dion Henrique out of his defensive stance, he was wide open for Kelly to find for what would be the highlight of the Rebels’ offense that skyrocketed to a total of 665 yards of offense in the Homecoming matchup. (Video of “The Catch” below.)
Treadwell replayed the moments leading up to the catch that wowed the college football universe.
“I got pushed off my route, and knew I couldn’t let it affect me, so I couldn’t get two hands on it,” he said. “I just stuck out one and was able to let out my passion I have for the game when I got in the end zone because I had dropped a lot of balls that I should be catching and I just needed a stepping stone.”
Treadwell finished Saturday’s 52-3 win over New Mexico State with eight catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns. Yet, he felt he could have done a much better job, since the football was thrown his way more than his total number of catches.
He called it “an average day.”
“I’m a competitor, and I feel that any ball that hits my hands shouldn’t be dropped,” said Treadwell, who dropped a pass from Kelly late in the second quarter.
I know the standard I hold myself to, and drops aren’t living up to that. I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself and making it hard on myself. I just need to relax and play football.
Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss wide receiver
While Treadwell was criticizing his own performance, his fans were electrified by the one-handed catch that received a standing ovation from the home crowd and social media. The catch was repeated multiple times on the big screen inside Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and was granted an ESPN Top 10 nominee spot.
Treadwell heard a lot of people comparing his one-handed catch to the likes of former LSU and current New York Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who has made headlines for his one-handed catches falling out of bounds. But Treadwell downplays the comparison and is, instead, sticking to his style of football.
“I’m just here to help my team win”
“I’m just Laquon Treadwell playing my type of football,” he said. “I really don’t compare myself to anyone else. I’m just here to help my team win. He did catch a nice one-handed catch, with all due respect to him.”
Similar to quarterback Chad Kelly, Treadwell is his own biggest critic and looks for ways to keep from making the same mistake twice. The Rebels’ receiver thrives on getting better and making the right play to help Ole Miss (5-1, 2-1 SEC) win football games. Treadwell has kept himself humbled and unselfish since the beginning of the season, because he feels there’s still room for improvement on his behalf and the entire offense.
“I hold myself to a higher standard and I feel like if someone stops me on a play, it’s not good on my part,” Treadwell said. “I’m not doing my job on the team, so I will continue to get better. I will continue to work to get better. I feel like there’s no limit for our team and I hold myself to a higher standard. I will continue to get comfortable week after week.”
Treadwell moving up in the record books
At the conclusion of Saturday’s win, Treadwell moved up to a tie for sixth in school history with 13 career touchdown catches and fourth in school history with 155 career receptions. Saturday was also his fifth career 100-yard receiving game, which is the fifth most in school history.
One thing is certain. If, as good as he already is, Treadwell feels he still has room for improvement–the rest of the opponents on the Rebels’ schedule better watch out.
Feature image credit: Amanda Swain, The Rebel Walk
Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men’s basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.