Two LSU wide receivers, who made steady jumps in their careers from a productivity standpoint, plan to return to the Tigers for an additional season.
Senior Jontre’ Kirklin and redshirt sophomore Jaray Jenkins, who both saw increases in their playing time and catches this season, have both indicated they’ll be part of LSU’s football team in 2021.
Kirklin took to his Twitter account last week with the following message, “What God has for me” and #unfinishedbusiness.
Jenkins said during a taped televised interview with Alexandria’s KALB that aired Monday that he looked forward to becoming more a team leader this season and mentoring the Tigers younger players.
“I’m going to be one of the older players in that (meeting) room this year,” Jenkins told Jamarcus Fitzpatrick. “Helping the young kids out. Let them know what I’ve done since my freshman year. Just giving them the game so they can be the best they can be.”
The addition of Kirklin and Jenkins represent the eighth and ninth draft-eligible players to return to LSU which won its final two games to finish the 2020 season with a 5-5 record.
The Tigers also picked up such declarations from offensive linemen Liam Shanahan, Ed Ingram and Chasen Hines along with defensive linemen Neil Ferrell Jr., Glen Logan, Ali Gaye and Andre Anthony.
With junior wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase, last year’s Biletnikoff Award winner, opting opt before the start of the 2020 season, Jenkins immediately made his presence felt in the Tigers season-opening game with a career-high five catches for 85 yards against Mississippi State.
The 6-foot-4, 194-pounder went on to record three more games with three catches of more, including a showing of four receptions for 65 yards in LSU’s 37-34 upset win over sixth-ranked Florida. He also had the game-winning TD in the Tigers’ 27-24 road win over Arkansas on a 13-yard catch from T.J. Finley with 3:59 left in the game.
Jenkins, who had five career catches for 67 yards without a touchdowns, wound up with 23 receptions for 397 yards (17.26 per catch) and two touchdowns.
He caught at least one pass in nine of his team’s 10 games last season.
The 6-foot, 184-pound Kirklin was regarded for more of his time on special teams over the course of his first three years at LSU where he played in 39 games with five tackles and had caught three passes for 85 yards.
The former Lutcher High School standout took advantage of the additional playing time he received on offense and had at least one catch in each of LSU’s first six games.
Kirklin’s signature moment came in the Tigers’ 41-7 road win over Vanderbilt where he caught three passes for 65 yards and scored the first two touchdowns of his career.
He also had two catches for 30 yards and a TD against Alabama.