In the offseason, Miami University’s football team nabbed an exciting player out of the transfer portal: junior wide receiver Gage Larvadain. Larvadain, who transferred from Southeastern Louisiana University, has been one of Miami’s most potent weapons this season.
Larvadain currently leads the team in three major stat categories, with 625 receiving yards, 36 receptions and six touchdowns on the season heading into the Mid-American Conference (MAC) Championship against Toledo.
Along with these stats, certain moments in Larvadain’s career at Miami have left a mark on the season. In his performance against the University of Massachusetts, he introduced himself to the MAC with 273 receiving yards and three touchdowns. He further showcased his talent with a 79-yard touchdown catch on the first play of the Battle for the Victory Bell against rival University of Cincinnati. Early in the season, Larvadain even led the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in receiving yards.
Despite performances like this being a large part of his breakout on the team, Larvadain said he felt like he was already in the perfect position well before the season started.
“I transferred here in the spring,” Larvadain said. “I had the whole spring, summer and fall to prove myself as a guy that can help us win. I was just able to prove myself to my coaches and teammates thanks to the time I had.”
Although Larvadain had a lot of time to get acquainted with the team and coaches, he credits receivers coach Myles White as a large part in helping him adjust to his transfer from Southeastern.
“To earn the respect of your teammates, it’s kind of like being a freshman again,” Larvadain said. “Coach White welcomed me with open arms. He also played in the NFL, so who wouldn’t want to play for a coach who did what you want to do?”
White believes that Larvadain has many raw characteristics that make him an NFL-caliber player.
“I went to college in his home state, so there was a connection right off the bat,” White said. “Gage wants to make the league, and thanks to his characteristics he has the potential to make it. He’s very focused, cerebral and just in tune with all the players on the field. The best players are always the smartest, and I believe he falls into that category.”
Larvadain credits these characteristics to his history as a dual sport athlete. In high school at Riverside Academy in Louisiana, he played quarterback and wide receiver for his football team and played on the basketball team.
He continued playing both sports at Southeastern, where he started for both teams his first year. He would switch to football full-time in his sophomore year before transferring to Miami.
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“I think football and basketball are just two sports that coincide with each other,” Larvadain said. “They really go hand-in-hand. The skill set that you guys see on Saturdays for football is the same that you’d use in basketball. Going up and getting a rebound is like going up for a high catch in football. Footwork on the court is very similar to on the field.”
With Larvadain’s high potential and dual sport skill set, the RedHawks have a real threat at wide receiver. With the team’s eyes set on the MAC title and more, Larvadain will continue to prove himself as a huge factor on this team.
“Everything I do is to try to win,” Larvadain said. “It’d be phenomenal to bring the MAC and a bowl back, but we have to take it one game at a time.”
In a press conference Monday morning, head coach Chuck Martin labeled Larvadain “questionable” for Saturday’s MAC Championship game due to a lower body injury he suffered Nov. 8 against Akron.