BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - LSU junior wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has chosen to opt out of the 2020 college football season and begin preparations for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Chase took to Twitter to officially announce his decision to opt out of the 2020 season.
247Sport’s Shea Dixon and CBS college football writer Dennis Dodd were the first to report Chase’s decision to opt out on Sunday, Aug. 30.
Chase is considered a top 10, even top five caliber pick. He is the third Tiger to opt out of the upcoming college football season, joining senior defensive back Kary Vincent Jr. and senior defensive end Neil Ferrell.
CBS Sports reported the decision to opt out was not related to COVID-19 but more so that Chase’s decision is to focus on his professional career moving forward. The report stated agents “convinced” Chase and his camp this decision would be the best for him and his family with all the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming college football season.
Chase’s father, Jimmy, said “it was a family decision and a Ja’Marr decision.” He said if the Tigers were entering game week against UT-San Antonio and everything was normal, his son would probably be playing.
“The pandemic, the social injustice, the political stuff - it’s a perfect storm of a whole lot of crap,” Jimmy Chase explained.
He added the decision to opt out was Ja’Marr’s alone to make.
“He’s his own person. He makes up his own mind,” his father added.
The Biletnikoff Award winner led the NCAA with 20 touchdown receptions and his 127.1 yards per game ranked second nationally. During the Tigers’ national championship season, Chase played in 14 games, finishing with 84 catches for 1,780 yards, an SEC single-season record. He became the first wide receiver and 11th in school history to become a unanimous All-American. Chase is the second Tiger receiver to win the Biletnikoff. Josh Reed took home the award in 2001.
Chase signed with LSU in 2018 over the likes of Florida and Auburn. When he was moving up to the college level out of Archbishop Rummel High School in New Orleans, no one could have known then, especially with the LSU offense he signed to, that Chase would become one of the best wide receivers in program history, destroying the Tigers’ record books in various categories.
The loss is obviously a huge one for Tiger fans to stomach, as Chase was going to be the focal point offensively for a team that is losing a ton from the previous season.
So, Chase not being with the Tigers brings up the issue of wide receiver depth and many are wondering who will take over in the spotlight. The number one option now has to be Terrace Marshall Jr., who had a breakout season himself in 2019. But other guys like Racey McMath, Jontre Kirklin, and Trey Palmer will certainly be in the mix as well.
Marshall had 46 catches for 671 yards and 13 touchdowns last season. It should be noted that he had the highest red zone efficiency rating in all of college football last season, despite missing three games due to injury.
McMath had 17 receptions for 285 yards and three touchdowns. Kirklin, who played his prep ball at Lutcher, had two catches for 75 yards. Trey Palmer, out of Kentwood, had just one catch for six yards but he also returned a punt 54 yards for a touchdown against Northwestern State.
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