LSU defensive nose tackle Tyler Shelvin, who has battled weight and conditioning problems for most of his college career, told Tigers’ coaches on Monday he’s opting out of the 2020 season.
The redshirt junior bypassed entering the 2020 NFL Draft after a tremendous sophomore season last year in which he had 39 tackles, including three for loss.
He played at 348 pounds, 42 pounds fewer than when he signed with the five-star recruit from Lafayette’s Notre Dame High was the No., 1 rated player in Louisiana in the recruiting class of 2017. He was redshirted as a freshman so he could drop weight..
He told Tiger Rag assistant editor William Weathers in April that he discussed his options with LSU head coach Ed Orgeron whether to return to LSU or bypass his remaining two years of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft. They both agreed it was in Shelvin’s best interest to return for his junior season because he was expected to a leader on the defensive line along with fifth-year senior Glen Logan.
“Last year I wasn’t a leader, but a guy that you could look up to on the field,” Shelvin said. “I just played my role and let the seniors do their thing and I also did mine. This year I’m playing the role that I’m supposed to be playing as a leader and stepping up. Do what I’ve got to do and make sure everybody’s in line.”
Shelvin is the fourth LSU player to opt of the 2020 season. Junior wide receiver JaMarr Chase and senior safety Kary Vincent Jr. already announced they were skipping the season to ready themselves for next April’s NFL Draft. Senior defensive end Neil Farrell was the first LSU player to opt out, but said it was because he had experienced family members dealing with coronavirus.
Unlike Chase, who has been projected as a top five draft pick, Shelvin’s fight to keep his weight down has dropped him to projected early second round draft pick.
About a month ago, Orgeron hinted Shelvin again was fighting a weight problem.
“If Tyler doesn’t lose weight, I’m going to have to get a Mack truck to bring him out,” Orgeron said with a laugh during his weekly radio appearance on “Off The Bench” on ESPN 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge. “I do believe he will. I do believe in Tyler.”