It may be LSU’s easiest selection to date of which football player will wear the coveted No. 7 jersey.
For the 2020 season, why not go with the returning Biletnikoff Award winner, college football’s best receiver last year?
Starting in Saturday’s first day of spring practice, junior Ja’Marr Chase will wear No. 7, LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced Thursday.
“Ja’Marr is a tremendous football player from the great state of Louisiana that represents our football program with great character and integrity,” Orgeron said. “(His parents) Jimmy and Toleah have done a great job of raising him and he has worked extremely hard on and off the field to develop as a player, while also becoming an outstanding leader for our team.
On last season’s 15-0 national championship team, Chase had 84 receptions for 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. The TDs and receiving yards led the nation in both categories and set SEC records.
Chase caught at least one TD pass in 11 of the 14 games in which he appeared. He also became the first player in LSU history to have three 200-yard receiving games in the same season.
In the Tigers’ 42-25 win over Clemson in the national championship game, Chase had nine catches for 221 yards and two TDs.
“This was a tough decision for me,” Chase said. “I’ve been thinking about this for a couple of weeks. I look at No. 7 as a competitive number. I think the No. 7 at LSU is a challenge. There’s a lot of things that go on in the year when you have 7 on, a lot of critics, a lot of people, a lot of expectations from 7, and I want to have that challenge upon me.”
Last season, safety Grant Delpit, who won the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s best defensive back, wore No. 7. Other past No. 7s include previous Thorpe winner cornerback Patrick Peterson (2008-10), all-America cornerback Tyrann Mathieu (2011), all-America running back Leonard Fournette (2014-16) and All-SEC receiver/returner DJ Chark (2017).
“He’s very deserving of having the opportunity to be the next LSU player to wear number 7,” Orgeron said of Chase. “I know he will do a great job of representing that number and all of those who have worn the number 7 before him.”