The drama of LSU's heartbreaking loss to Alabama on Saturday was riveting for any of the nearly 94,000 in attendance.
It had to feel especially exciting for any young wide receivers considering a commitment to the Tigers, whose passing game has been in what amounts to a three-year rut. Although it's just one game, Zach Mettenberger's explosion for 298 yards and a touchdown while completing 68 percent of his passes had to catch the eyes of skill players in attendance.
That was certainly the case for Malachi Dupre (River Ridge, La./John Curtis Christian), the 6-foot-3 wide receiver on the 2014 ESPN Watch List, who made the short drive to Baton Rouge for the game.
"Being a receiver, that stands out," Dupre said. "I know they can throw it, but it seems like last night they executed better than they had, and that was encouraging."
Dupre was one of several talented skill players to take in the Tigers' biggest home game of the season. As is becoming a trend in the aftermath of what is sure to be considered an SEC classic, Dupre said the atmosphere itself was more impressive than anything that happened on the field.
"We knew what to expect, but it was just big that it was such a big game. This game decided a lot," the junior said. "The South Carolina game was a huge game, but you could tell the difference between that and Alabama. There were so many people on campus before the game. So many kids came out to watch this game."
It's a good note to go out on, as that might be Dupre's last visit for the foreseeable future. His John Curtis Christian Patriots earned the No. 1 seed in Louisiana's Class 2A playoffs Sunday, and they begin their state championship defense this weekend against Pope Jean-Paul II. Dupre has 486 yards and seven touchdowns on 25 receptions this season.
He said the Patriots must stay focused on what's immediately in front of them if they're to win a second straight state title -- the school's 25th overall.