Bengals' Ja'Marr Chase on ex-LSU coach Les Miles: 'He told me I couldn’t play receiver'

Chase — the No. 5 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft — hauled in 81 catches for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns and is the clear front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year. Chase joined his former LSU teammate Joe Burrow in Cincinnati, and the duo led the Bengals to the AFC North title, and they are now one win away from making it to the Super Bowl.

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) runs against the Tennessee Titans during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

During a press conference on Wednesday, Chase recalled when former LSU head coach Les Miles recruited him to play cornerback instead of wide receiver.

“I can tell you honestly, one of my best stories ever. Les Miles told me I couldn’t play receiver when I was coming out of high school,” Chase explained. “So that was something I had on my shoulders growing up. Les Miles told me he thought I could play cornerback. I wasn’t really at the full position of receiver yet, so I just kept working at my craft in the offseason, waking up early in the mornings to work out. I just kept focused.”

Wide receiver Tyler Boyd #83 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates catching a second quarter touchdown pass with teammates Joe Mixon #28 and Ja'Marr Chase #1 against the Las Vegas Raiders during the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on Jan. 15, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Wide receiver Tyler Boyd #83 of the Cincinnati Bengals celebrates catching a second quarter touchdown pass with teammates Joe Mixon #28 and Ja’Marr Chase #1 against the Las Vegas Raiders during the AFC Wild Card playoff game at Paul Brown Stadium on Jan. 15, 2022 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

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Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)

Chase didn’t end up playing for Miles because he was fired in Sept. 2016. For the 2017 season, Ed Orgeron took over when Chase entered the program as a true freshman one year later. In LSU’s national championship season in 2019, Chase had 84 receptions for 1,780 yards with 20 touchdowns.

In two playoff wins this year, Chase has 14 catches for 225 yards and will look to be a key piece for the Bengals as they visit Kansas City to take on the Chiefs in the AFC title game.

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