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Ja’Marr Chase opting out of 2020 season to prepare for NFL Draft

LSU Wide Receiver Ja'Marr Chase (No. 1)
LSU Wide Receiver Ja'Marr Chase (No. 1)(Josh Auzenne/WAFB-TV (custom credit) | WAFB)
Updated: Aug. 30, 2020 at 12:56 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WVUE) - LSU’s potent offense and #6 preseason ranking have taken a blow Sunday with the news that wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is opting out of his junior season to prepare for the NFL Draft. WVUE-FOX 8′s Garland Gillen confirmed the news first reported by CBS Sports HQ.

Chase won the 2019 Biletnikoff Award, given to the top receiver in the nation, en route to a 2-touchdown performance in the Tigers’ National Championship win over Clemson. For the season, the Rummel High product had 84 catches for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.

LSU’s potent offense and #6 preseason ranking have taken a blow Sunday with the news that wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase is opting out of his junior season to prep

Chase has been including in video of practice sent out by LSU’s football operation during the first two weeks of camp. “Right now, I’m not really looking for nothing to improve except my shape right now,” Chase told the school-published Hey Fightin’ Podcast. “I know last year I was in good shape but I know I could have been in better shape. Coach O told me last year that he wants me to be in the best shape I’ve ever been in so I’m looking at that as something that I really need to work on but nothing new, working on my hands, catching, I still do 10,000 balls every summer time so it’s just the small things for me to improve on.”

In Chase’s void, the Tigers have the highly-proven Terrace Marshall, who logged 13 touchdowns and nearly 700 yards receiving in an injury-shortened 2019 campaign. Senior Racey McMath has drawn praise from coaches and was being billed as the third receiving option behind Marshall and Chase.

“Racey is doing a great job, Racey is going to be a starter for us,” head coach Ed Orgeron told members of the media Tuesday. “Jontre Kirklin is doing a good job, all those guys are doing a great job. I feel that we’re really,really talented at the wide receiver position and the guy that I’m really impressed with is Moore - he has done a great job out of Rummel High School. I think that he is going to have an excellent freshman year.”

LSU will open the 2020 season on September 26th against Mississippi State, one of the 11 opponents Chase scored a touchdown against in 2019.

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