LSU Football Defensive End Neil Farrell Opting Out of 2020 Season, Sports Illustrated Reports
LSU defensive end Neil Farrell has elected to sit out the 2020 football season, according to a report from Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger. Farrell is the first LSU player to elect to sit out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.
After a successful 2019 season that ended with Farrell being one of the more consistent defensive linemen on the roster, Farrell had family members that dealt with the coronavirus over the offseason, ultimately electing in his decision to focus on his family.
"I'm focusing on my family right now," Farrell told the Athletic's Brody Miller.
Miller reports that the senior does plan on returning to the team in 2021. Per NCAA and SEC rules that were recently adopted, players have the choice to sit out the season due to COVID-19 related reasons. More than 30 Power 5 players have elected to opt out of the 2020 season.
As a junior in 2019, Farrell recorded 46 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and three sacks for the purple and gold. He was viewed as a major building block up front in the Tigers switch to the 4-3 defense under new defensive coordinator Bo Pelini.
In Farrell's absence, expect Glen Logan, Jaquelin Roy, Tyler Shelvin, Siaki "Apu" Ika and Jacobian Guillory to take on larger roles up front. Luckily for the Tigers, the defensive line is one of LSU's deepest position groups so while the loss of Farrell is significant, there are plenty of options that could fill his spot.
"That’s why we are going back to the 4-3,” Orgeron said on 104.5 ESPN this offseason. “We felt we have talent, we have the guys we think that could play in the 4-3, [very] disruptive. I think this group is going to be a great group and it’s already helped us in recruiting.
Orgeron also raved about the athletic ability the Tigers possess up front this season.
"We've got a lot of speed on this defense, speed on the edge. We have defensive ends that can run," Orgeron said on 104.5 ESPN on Tuesday. "Jaquelin Roy is 6-foot-3, 300. I tell you a guy that came on hard in Football School is Eric Taylor. He is a very, very talented young man," Orgeron added. "Eric's 6-foot-4, 292. Jacobian (Guillory) is 6-foot-1, but he's 337. They come in all sizes, but the athletic ability, I think all three of those guys along with defenses are phenomenal players."