It's a time honored tradition for senior college football players across the country as this week, practices for the 2021 Senior Bowl will begin with a game scheduled for Jan. 30.
This year's Senior Bowl activities will look much different as practices will be closed to the general public while just over 6,000 fans will be allowed to attend the game, featuring some of the most prominant players in college football this past season. Florida's Kyle Trask and Kadarius Toney as well as Alabama quarterback Mac Jones and receiver Devonta Smith will all be in Hoover, Alabama this week.
There will also be three members from LSU's 2020 team, safety JaCoby Stevens, linebacker Jabril Cox and receiver Racey McMath who will all be looking to improve their draft stick this week as well.
Stevens earned the No. 7 for the 2020 season after receiver Ja'Marr Chase elected to opt out of the season and is currently viewed as a likely mid round draft pick. A hard hitting play maker who does most of his damage near the line of scrimmage, Stevens racked up 190 career tackles, 21.5 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, four interceptions and 15 passes defended.
Over his LSU career, which featured the highs and lows, there were two things that Stevens said he learned above all else.
"Patience and hard work. Coming in here as a high recruit, not playing, changing positions and not having success early really tested my patience," Stevens said before his final game for LSU. "That's something I always talk about that's a struggle of mine and it forced me to be patient. It forced me to put in the work and when I got that opportunity I made the best of it and didn't look back."
Cox, who was a transfer out of North Dakota State where he won three national championships, had a great lone season in Baton Rouge. He proved to be among LSU’s most consistent players, recorded 58 tackles, 6.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, three interceptions and one touchdown.
Once viewed as a potential first round pick, its unknown how LSU’s subpar defense last year may have affected his draft stock. At the very least, a second or third round grade should be expected on Cox with a chance to move up boards with a solid showing this week.
“This season is something I wouldn’t trade for the world; everything happens for a reason," Cox said of his one year in Baton Rouge after the Florida win. “I think this is something I really needed. The win gave hope to a lot of people, shows that the future is bright here at LSU, and that what Coach O was saying about building a championship program is true.”
Known as one of the better athletes on the team during his tenure, McMath averaged 17 yards per catch throughout his career, displaying his potential as a vertical threat and recording 522 yards over the course of his career. It was the special teams side of McMath's game that made him a valued player on the field.
In six appearances as a receiver, McMath hauled in 14 catches for 195 yards and a touchdown. He also missed the final four games of the season against Texas A&M, Alabama, Florida and Ole Miss due to a nagging hamstring injury.