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LSU Football Players Most Likely to Breakout in 2020: No. 11 Chris Curry, Running Back

2019 Peach Bowl performance gives Curry confidence, proof he can be leading man

There’s a good chance Chris Curry isn’t even in the discussion for “Most Likely to Breakout” if Clyde Edwards-Helaire doesn’t get injured prior to last season’s College Football Playoff semifinal vs. Oklahoma.

Redshirting in 2018 behind Nick Brossette and Edwards-Helaire, Curry wasn’t utilized much in 2019 either, until he got the call he’d been waiting for. That call happened to be for the biggest game on the schedule at that point, starting at running back in LSU’s first-ever CFP appearance.

He got his moment -- and, man, did he take advantage. Curry showed the world how powerful of a runner he could be, rushing for 90 yards on 16 carries, averaging 5.6 yards per touch. It was at that moment you could tell he was running for his life -- not literally -- but for his future at LSU.

“It’s bigger than me, it’s about LSU,” Curry said about being low on the depth chart at first. “It’s next man up, whoever is in that spot. At times it could be [hard], but through talking to coaches and working hard everyday, you never know when you’re going to get your shot.”

“He’s come a long way,” head coach Ed Orgeron said. “He’s proved on a daily basis -- to his teammates and to his coaches -- that he’s worthy of playing a game like [the Peach Bowl]. I’m excited about him.”

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In an interview with 104.5 ESPN Baton Rouge’s Off The Bench in early March, Orgeron mentioned that he expects to play all three running backs -- Curry, Ty Davis-Price, John Emery -- in the upcoming season, but Curry was definitely becoming the downhill, violent rusher they thought he’d always be in the recruiting process.

In 2019, Curry posted a total of just 189 yards on 38 carries, but expect his numbers to skyrocket in 2020. Once listed as the fourth-string running back on the depth chart, one has to wonder where Curry would be today if he didn’t get his chance in the Peach Bowl on Dec. 28.

Would he have transferred? Entering 2020 as a strong candidate for the starting role, that discussion has now likely become a hypothetical question, but it certainly makes you think.

Curry is approaching his third season on campus as a redshirt sophomore, and is primed for a breakout season. Fans got a glimpse of his potential at the end of last year, but with the departure of Edwards-Helaire, Curry’s opportunity to showcase his skills are set to be on full display.

His nickname is ‘Beast Mode’ because he runs like Marshawn Lynch, and after two full seasons flying under the radar, 2020 is finally Curry’s chance to explode onto the college football scene.