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LSU Defensive Tackle Tyler Shelvin to Opt Out of 2020 Season, Sports Illustrated Reports

Shelvin's departure a huge hit to the Tigers defensive line depth

The hits keep coming for LSU as Monday saw the departure of another key piece to the 2020 roster in defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin. The junior defensive lineman will opt out of the 2020 season according to Sports Illustrated's Ross Dellenger.

Shelvin marks the fourth player to opt out of the 2020 season, joining defensive lineman Neil Farrell, safety Kary Vincent and receiver Ja'Marr Chase. The Tigers have also watched defensive ends Justin Thomas and TK McLendon enter the NCAA transfer portal in recent weeks.

Ferrell is opting out for COVID-19 related reasons while it appears that Chase, Vincent and Shelvin pulled out of the draft in order to focus on the 2021 draft. The decision by Shelvin is a bit of a head scratcher as the 6-foot-3, 360-pound defensive lineman has had troubles with weight issues and is far from a first round lock like Chase.

Recently, Shelvin was ranked as the No. 23 prospect in the 2021 NFL Draft by ESPN analyst Todd McShay.

"Shelvin is a nightmare for opponents in the middle of LSU's front. He consistently anchors versus double-teams -- or splits them -- and he can control blockers," McShay wrote.

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In his first full season as a starter, Shelvin proved to be a monster on the interior defensive line, drawing double and triple teams consistently because of physicality, size and athleticism. While the stats didn't always show it, he proved to be one of the Tigers' stout defensive players.

In 17 appearances for the purple and gold, Shelvin recorded 48 tackles, 4.5 tackles for a loss and 1.5 sacks. Shelvin drew high praise from new defensive coordinator back in the spring. 

"Tyler Shelvin, I think he can be as good as he wants to be," Pelini said on 104.5 ESPN's Hangin' with Hester. "I think he is a really talented kid. I am excited about him. He does some things, now. He is way bigger than Glenn was at this point in his career, but there are times you see that 72 and he reminds me of Dorsey - he’s just about 70 pounds bigger than Glenn was at that point. But we have guys that can play."