Frank Ladson came out of high school with high expectations. He was ranked as one of the top 50 players in the country by five outlets, while also being a consensus top-five player from the wonderful, sunny, football obsessed state of Florida. The South Dade Senior High School product chose to play for the Clemson Tigers in 2019. And who could blame him? The Tigers were defending champs, had Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, and had success developing wide receivers: Mike Williams, Tee Higgins, and Justyn Ross to name a few.
Unfortunately for Ladson, things didn’t work out as well as he had hoped in South Carolina. A hip injury derailed his sophomore season in 2020. It was still his most successful to date, with 18 catches for 281 yards and 3 touchdowns. Last season, Ladson injured his groin in practice after just four games, eventually deciding to sit out the year.
Once he entered his name in the transfer portal, Ladson seemed like a perfect fit to join the new and improved Miami Hurricanes football program. On January 15th, he officially announced his decision to come home to South Florida. Ladson provides an immediate veteran presence in the wide receiver room.
Miami has had recent success with wide receiver transfers K.J. Osborn, who led the Canes in 2019 with 50 receptions for 547 yards and 5 touchdowns, and Charleston Rambo, who led the Canes last season with 79 receptions for 1,172 yards and 7 touchdowns. This gives me solid hope for Ladson for 2022 and beyond. Further, letting his body heal with the extended time off the field combined with coming home to his family and friends can only be beneficial to his physical and mental well being. Lastly, I expect new offensive coordinator Josh Gattis to figure out the best way to get Ladson involved in the passing game.
Clemson transfer WR Frank Ladson, a Miami native, announces return home to play for Miami next season. https://t.co/DCOqtk821D— StateOfTheU.com (@TheStateOfTheU) January 15, 2022
Ladson has some talented outside wide receivers to compete with: Key’shawn Smith is considered by some to be a breakout player, while Romello Brinson and Jacolby George have big play ability. That said, despite his abbreviated run at Clemson, no current receiver has the big game experience of Ladson. At 6 foot 3 inches, he’s the tallest Miami wide receiver. This should make him an immediate red zone target for TVD.
Let’s be honest: Canes fans would be happy if Ladson put up similar numbers to K.J.’s from 2019. And that is exactly what I think he will do.
2022 prediction: 40 receptions, 525 yards, 4 touchdowns.