The 2019 LSU football team undeniably featured one of the best receiver groups in college football, and a large part of that success stemmed from the use of a robotic quarterback.
A 6-foot, 350-pound passing machine called The Seeker is “far more sophisticated” than a normal passing machine. Passes are fired at 100 mph, and receiving routes can be programmed into a touchscreen interface.
The Seeker can throw six balls in 10 seconds, and it can make five or six more passes than a regular passing machine. It’s safe to say the advanced level the trio of LSU’s 2019 receivers played at during the season has a lot to do with this advanced device.
“They loved it,” LSU Director of Athletic Training Jack Marucci told SDS. “It was a unique device and nobody had it at the time … they all experienced it, they all used it, they did all the testing with the device to look at how they catch the ball. I’d say positively they enjoyed it. It made it more fun to do the work.”
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Another advantage the Tigers saw from this machine was allowing quarterbacks Joe Burrow and Myles Brennan to have some rest in between reps while allowing receivers to continue training at a high level.
“These wide receivers, they don’t need a quarterback. Now they can run routes where you put in the play scripts and let them actually have a practice without a quarterback,” Marucci said. “They just wanna catch footballs.”
Head coach Ed Orgeron was blown away during a demonstration of The Seeker after witnessing it run punt cover drills. The average amount of punts a normal passing machine can get in the allotted time is 10 to 12. The seeker got 52 reps.
“The creativity that some of these coaches have with devising their own routes, we’re just a piece of that puzzle,” Karlicic said. “We were very lucky to have found that relationship (with LSU), but for us, it was about getting that feedback, getting that development and for them to be the best team they could possibly be. You saw the result of that play out.”
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During the 2019 season, The Seeker became such a prominent part of LSU’s offense it traveled in the equipment truck on away games.
The Seeker also has been used by Iowa, Oklahoma, SMU, Virginia and Northwestern, and at the NFL level by tight ends George Kittle, T.J. Hockenson and Hunter Henry. As the word gets out, The Seeker’s impact will likely be seen far and wide in the football world.