The bad news keeps coming in Baton Rouge. No, I’m not even remotely referencing anything to do with LSU head basketball coach Will Wade, either.
One day after Ja’Marr Chase, who many consider the nation’s best wide receiver, opted out of the 2020 campaign to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, another LSU Tiger decided to do the same thing.
This time around, it was redshirt junior defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin who informed Ed Orgeron and his staff that he was going to skip this season. In Phil Steele’s magazine, Shelvin was a first-team preseason All-SEC choice and a fourth-team All-American selection.
Shelvin had 39 tackles, three tackles for loss, two passes broken up and one QB hurry in 2019 when the Tigers won the College Football Playoff and finished with a 15-0 straight-up record and an 11-4 against-the-spread mark.
As a redshirt freshman in 2018, Shelvin played in six games and recorded nine tackles and 1.5 sacks.
With Shelvin and senior DB Kary Vincent opting out, LSU has only three starters returning from a defensive unit that gave up only 21.9 points per game last year. This group will be led by Bo Pelini, the new defensive coordinator who is replacing Dave Aranda, the new HC at Baylor.
Pelini is the former Nebraska head coach who had been the HC at FCS powerhouse, Youngstown State, since getting run out of Lincoln. Pelini was LSU’s DC under Les Miles when the Tiger won the 2007 BCS Championship Game by smashing Ohio State in New Orleans.
Without Chase, LSU has just two starters back from last year’s record-setting offense that was led by Joe Burrow, the Heisman Trophy winner who went No. 1 overall to the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2020 NFL Draft.
5Dimes has LSU as an 18.5-point home favorite vs. Mississippi State in its opener on Sept. 26. However, most books have the Tigers favored by 16 or 16.5 points. DraftKings had LSU -16.5 this morning.