LSU Receiver Ja'Marr Chase Officially Declares for 2021 NFL Draft
Like most do in the social media age, LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase took to Twitter on Tuesday to officially declare for the 2021 NFL draft. The decision comes two weeks after Chase elected to opt of the 2020 season.
Chase officially opted out back on Aug. 31, the same 48-hour span that defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin also elected to opt out.
"The competitor in me badly wants to play the season and go to war with my brothers, but during this time, with so much going on, this is what's best for my family," Chase wrote in a social media post on Monday. "I appreciate each and every one of my teammates for your hard work and pushing me to get better every day. There is nothing I want to do more than suit up in No. 7 for the LSU Tigers."
Chase is a projected top-10 pick in next spring's draft as one of the best receiver prospects to come out of college in recent years. His improved speed, hand strength and physicality are just a few of the traits that helped him in set SEC and program records as a sophomore.
After his Biletnikoff winning 2019 season for the purple and gold that included 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns, Chase was awarded the No. 7 jersey for the upcoming season. At the time, coach Ed Orgeron wished Chase and Shelvin the best moving forward but that the Tigers are approaching it as a next man up mentality.
“Those things are going to happen, that’s the time we are living in,” Orgeron said on 104.5 ESPN. “We wish Ja’Marr and Tyler the best. They helped us win a national championship, they are two great young men from great families. We recruited both of them. We wish them the best but you know what? We don’t blink. Next man up.
“Are we going to miss those guys? Sure we are. But we got some guys here that can play some football.”
It turns out that next man up will be freshman Kayshon Boutte, who has impressed the Tigers' coaching staff since Chase's departure a few weeks ago. Boutte will be the No. 3 receiver behind Terrace Marshall and Racey McMath, though Arik Gilbert figures to grab much of the attention as well at tight end.