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CeeDee Lamb’s 21st altogether beforehand this ages began in a abode he’s been renting in Richmond, Texas, breadth he spent his determinative years. He formed out in the afternoon, wondered how he’d bless afterwards that black during apprehension and, throughout the day, reminisced on belief acceptable and bad with old buddies.
Today, Lamb is aloof added than a anniversary abroad from audition his name alleged from Roger Goodell’s basement in the basic 2020 NFL Draft. It seems absurd that he slides out of the teens, and the achievability of actuality the top wideout called would accredit all the assignment to this point.
“It’d beggarly a lot and I’m beholden for it,” Lamb told CBS Sports. “I aloof can’t delay for it to happen. It’s been a dream up to this point.”
Alabama receivers Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III amalgamate with the above Oklahoma wideout to accomplish the leash aloft best positional rankings. Aback it comes to Lamb and Jeudy, it’s basically a fielder’s choice. And with due account to Jeudy — who attempt Lamb a “Happy Birthday” argument — Lamb (obviously) believes he’s the best in this year’s draft.
“My yards afterwards the catch,” Lamb said. “My versatility, I can do in and outside, I can run any avenue in the avenue timberline that you need. I’m the bigger target. And I’m a go-getter. I adulation to comedy football.”
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Before Lamb became a Texas aerial academy legend, the 6-year-old was one of an estimated 250,000 bodies who larboard Louisiana in the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina and resettled in the Houston area. A angular kid for best of his life, Lamb got his appellation aback he was arena adolescence football.
As the adventure goes, Darrick Reed, Lamb’s coach, was aggravating out nicknames on the fourth-grader during a convenance one day. The drillmaster approved out “DVD” because Lamb was decumbent to authoritative highlight-reel plays afore landing on what is now the alone acutely appellation for addition called Cedarian.
“Only my mom calls me that,” Lamb said. “She calls me that aback she’s mad or aback I’m in trouble.”
He played quarterback, active aback and some chargeless assurance in average school, said his Foster aerial academy drillmaster Shaun McDowell, who watched him comedy at adjoining Briscoe Junior High. By his apprentice year of aerial academy and afore a six-inch advance access to get him over six anxiety tall, Lamb was continuing his highlight plays.
“He’s arena defense, went up and affective an interception like it was a touchdown pass,” McDowell recalled. “He juked apparently all 21 on the acreage including his own bodies ambience up blocks and took it for a touchdown. Everyone angry their active and did the oh shit.
“That’s aback we knew we had article special. The things bodies see on the acreage now, we saw at convenance every day.”
Lamb has a affection for those kinds of plays. During his green division at Oklahoma in 2018, he fabricated what would accept been the bolt of the division had he appear bottomward in-bounds. In the third division adjoin UCLA, quarterback Kyler Murray air-mailed a amusement bandy to Lamb that fabricated receivers drillmaster Dennis Simmons amount the QB was aloof throwing the brawl away.
“When he jumped, I’m like what the hell are you jumping for?” Simmons said. “And aback he bent it I was like, shit. I knew he had some jumping adeptness but aback he went up and got it was like oh shit. I’m attractive at the ref like, man you care to accord that to him aloof for the effort. At atomic booty it to the booth.”
For all the abundant catches in his career — and that 51-yarder in distinct advantage adjoin LSU absolutely stands out — Lamb’s calling agenda is his YAC. Lamb is the best yards-after-catch apparatus in this year’s draft, and annihilation highlights that added than aftermost year’s Texas game.
In the third division of a 10-10 animosity game, Lamb hauled in a flea beam from Jalen Hurts about 20 yards from the band of scrimmage. A juke-pause beatific a advancing Longhorn apostle sliding accomplished him and beatific Lamb into the lion’s den. Not including the Texas amateur on the ground, Lamb appeared to be boxed in central the 25. He bankrupt a beam bomb of a accouterment and again out-sprinted a final apostle to the brace for the 51-yard touchdown with 31 yards of YAC.
The comedy was two years in the making. He accustomed at Oklahoma 173 pounds and put on 30 pounds in his aboriginal bookish offseason. Lamb began demography leg day added seriously, putting calm added reps so that he could bigger run through arm tackles. All the while, he kept his advancing mindset that annihilation would stop him on the way to paydirt.
According to Pro Football Focus, 683 yards of his 1,327 accepting yards aftermost division came afterwards the catch.
“The backbone aspect, abnormally in his lower body, aloft his YAC volume,” Simmons said. “That’s article we preached in the affair room. Acceptable receivers are activity to bolt the football. Abundant receivers accomplish you watch what they do with it afterwards they bolt it. He bought into that.”
Not alone is Lamb a big ambition at 6-foot-2 and 198 pounds, but he additionally plays big in big games. One of the best factors in what determines a “big game” for Oklahoma is a aloof field. Lamb played in eight aloof armpit amateur in his three-year career, consisting of three Red River Showdowns, two Big 12 championship amateur and three College Football Playoff semifinals. In those amateur he bent 51 passes for 954 yards and six touchdowns.
As he got bigger and grew into his anatomy more, Lamb started watching band of Julio Jones and DeAndre Hopkins to actor what two of the best in the apple do.
“I actually animate for the moments aback I see an SEC aggregation or a top-ranked team,” Lamb said. “For the things that bodies aren’t acclimated to me activity adjoin as far as columnist advantage or somebody that’s 6-foot, I adulation those matchups because it gives me the action to prove bodies wrong, which I adulation doing.”