LSU Football: Skipping the 2020 season was tough for Ja’Marr Chase

Mandatory Credit: LSU Athletics/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network
Mandatory Credit: LSU Athletics/Pool Photo via USA TODAY Network /

Prior to the start of the 2020 season, LSU football wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase made the difficult choice to opt-out.

The decision came as a surprise after Chase spent much of the offseason talking about being “hungry” to prove that LSU’s success in 2019 wasn’t a fluke.

Chase told reporters this week that he decided to opt-out of the 2020 season due to “stuff going on” with his family.

“My decision came off my family,” said Chase. ” A lot of family based moments, I had a lot of stuff going on with my family at the time so I wanted to take care of that.”

Chase also mentioned that he didn’t want to opt-out in the middle of the season (like Terrace Marshall Jr and Arik Gilbert did).

“During the season, I didn’t want to play a few games and then opt out because that doesn’t look right,” explained Chase. “If I’m going to play some games, I might as well finish the whole season.”

Opting out was though for the former LSU football standout

The toughest part of opting out for Chase was watching his teammates lose without him on the field.

“Watching them guys play games that I knew we were supposed to win was the hardest thing I had to do,” said Chase. “I had to sit there and watch it sometimes. Sometimes I turned it off. So I would probably say that was the hardest thing I had to do while I was sitting out this year.”

In a “normal” year, there’s no way Chase would’ve opted out. He would’ve played his junior season and then been off to the NFL.

But with everything happening with COVID-19, there wasn’t really anything for Chase to gain by playing in 2020. He was already viewed as a top 10 pick after the 2019 season. It was unlikely that Chase was going to improve his draft stock in 2020 (especially with no Joe Burrow on the roster).

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While I’m sure we all would’ve enjoyed watching Chase play one more season in Baton Rouge, it’s certainly understandable why he decided to opt-out and focus on the 2021 NFL Draft.