When Ja'Marr Chase woke up on Thursday ahead of the NFL Draft, one of the first messages he received was from his former LSU quarterback Joe Burrow.
"Pack your bags" the text message said. Later that evening, Chase officially was selected No. 5 overall by Cincinnati, reuniting him with his former college quarterback. After going No. 5 overall, Chase became the highest drafted wide receiver in program history.
It was a scenario many in Baton Rouge wanted to see and now the two will have that opportunity to move forward as professionals.
"That's when I finally was like, 'Dang, he might really be calling it.' That's when I took his word," Chase said after the selection. "It feels good getting back with him, gotta get back on schedule, work hard again and make some plays."
For Chase and Burrow, the duo showed supreme chemistry on the field during their time at LSU, combining for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns during that prolific 2019 season. The two built a strong connection the summer before that championship season and have remained good friends since Burrow's rookie year with the Bengals
Chase has learned a lot from Burrow over the last two years in how to prepare and carry himself to be the best he can on the field. As draft boards started to get drawn up and the opportunity was there for the Bengals to take Chase, he said that he and Burrow talked three or four times about the possibility of teaming up again.
A goal oriented person, Chase famously had a list of things he wanted to accomplish in college, including winning a national championship and the Biletnikoff award. For his rookie season, Chase's goals are 1,500 yards and 10 touchdowns, ones he thinks can be accomplished.
"This is something a lot of people might not have the chance to do, especially being with a quarterback they won the Biletnikoff Award with," Chase said. "That's something that's going to be great."
Though he opted out of 2020, Chase says he thinks his game has made tremendous jumps since that championship season but knows it might take some time to get back in a rhythm after not seeing game action for over a year. Burrow's in a similar boat, slowly working himself back from in-season knee surgery and both will have time to reconnect before getting back on the field.
"I'm sure we'll get a session in as soon as we can, as soon as he's feeling great," Chase said. "Health is the biggest thing first, worry about his health and then we can get back.