Since his decision to opt out of the 2020 season, we haven't heard much from LSU star receiver Ja'Marr Chase. The future top 15 pick in next month's NFL Draft has spent the last several months preparing for professional life.
The last time we saw Chase on the field he turned in one of the great receiving seasons ever seen in college football. His 1,780-yard, 20 touchdown sophomore season was enough to show scouts and draft evaluators that he's a budding star in the NFL. Chase was recently revealed as the No. 2 overall prospect by NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah and recently caught up with Jeremiah to talk about what he's worked on most since opting out of the season.
"I've been working on a lot of my weaknesses, trying to stay low to the ground, keep my body under control and catching it on the side that I know I have weaknesses on," Chase said.
The decision to opt out of the 2020 season was not one that Chase took lightly. Remember, he was with the LSU program at the start of fall camp and seemed poised to carry on that tradition to be the next star to wear that No. 7 jersey. Ultimately, the COVID-19 rules that were implemented drove him away from playing out his junior season with the Tigers.
"Everything was so overwhelming at the time. It was a tough decision on me and my family and I didn't really like the [COVID] rules they had going on. So I talked to my parents and they guided me through it."
In the last few weeks, he's had meetings with various NFL teams about what he needs to improve on before the season and the responses he's getting are very similar to what he already felt he needed to work on. While preparing for the draft, Chase couldn't help but watch and closely follow his former teammate Justin Jefferson, who was tearing the NFL up as a rookie.
From Jefferson to Odell Beckham Jr. to Jarvis Landry, LSU has put forth some of the elite talent at receiver in the game today. It wasn't that long ago that Chase was the No. 1 option on the LSU national championship team, sees what Jefferson is doing and is confident he can find similar success as a rookie.
"Of course and not just because he did it but because that's my mindset," Chase said. "All those cats you named, they all got that dog in them. They wanna play football. That's their passion and that's the thing about LSU receivers. We're animals and we show it."
Now less than a month away from LSU's pro day on March 31, Chase is ready to show NFL scouts what kinds of improvements he's made in his game and why he should be a top five pick in the 2021 draft.
"I want to prove to them that I'm a real wide receiver. I do as much as everybody else can and probably better so I'm going out there, play my game and showing what they want to see," Chase said.