Rummel wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase picks LSU on signing day

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Ja'Marr Chase
Rummel’s Ja’Marr Chase (#1) is one of the talented receivers nationally in the Class of 2018 (Photo: Bill Arthurs).

Video: Ja’Marr Chase announces to LSU, explains choice

Perhaps the best senior football player in Louisiana, Archbishop Rummel wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase decided to sign with LSU.

The 6-foot-2, 195 pounder was previously committed to Florida before reopening his recruitment Nov. 8.

Auburn, TCU, UGA, Michigan and LSU were among his top considerations before Chase settled on the in-state Tigers.

For LSU head coach Ed Orgeron and his program, the signing of Chase eases the sting from a rough National Signing Day. The Tigers lost our on a pair of elite cornerbacks when Missouri prepster Mario Goodrich signed with Clemson while Patrick Surtain Jr. picked Alabama after a last minute push by the Crimson Tide.

Chase as a senior hauled in 61 receptions for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns en route to breaking all receiving records for a single season and career for the Raiders.

His final prep season was cut short in the opening round of the LHSAA Division I playoffs when he suffered a partial tear to his posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) and two bruised bones.

LSU Football
National Signing Day Recap
February 7, 2018

Head Coach Ed Orgeron
Opening statement …
“Welcome. We are really excited about Ja’Marr Chase and Kelvin Joseph. We want to welcome them to our great Tiger family. They are two of the best players in the state of Louisiana that we have targeted for a long time and two of the best players in the country, and they fit specific positions of need. We are excited to have those guys. Ja’Marr Chase out of Rummel High School, the No. 3 player in the state of Louisiana, is a 6-foot-1, 195-pound wide receivers with big hands and an excellent route runner. He had 61 catches for 1,100 yards and 14 TDs. He is a great character young man from a great family. His family was a joy to recruit. We brought the whole staff in his house, led by Mickey Joseph, Rummel High School’s Jay Roth. What a tremendous gift for the Tigers. He’s going to be a great, great receiver for us. Him and Terrance Marshall Jr. remind me of Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr. when we signed them back in the day. I wasn’t here, but I remember when we signed him. We expect that tandem to be great.

“Kelvin Joseph from Scotlandville High School is the No. 2 player in the state of Louisiana. Corey Raymond did a tremendous job of recruiting this man. He could have gone most places. Remember this, Kelvin Joseph decided not to take any other visits last weekend, was an LSU Tiger. We went to his home. His family is from Baton Rouge. They couldn’t be prouder to be LSU Tigers. Kelvin is 6-foot-2, 200 pounds. He’s going to play cornerback for us, which is a need position. He’s a very aggressive DB, who is a great tackler. He had 184 tackles, five interceptions, two forced fumbles and is just a tremendous young man from Scotlandville High School.

“Overall on this class, our emphasis this year was the state of Louisiana first. We signed eight of the top 10 players in Louisiana and 13 players from Louisiana overall, which we are most proud of. We wanted to add linemen, and we did with four offensive linemen and five defensive tackles. We needed to add receivers. We signed four receivers, including two of the top five receivers in the country. We needed running backs, and we signed two very talented running backs. One is already here. Remember this: nine of our signees are already enrolled and practicing with our football team right now. We are very pleased with that. As of now, we have two scholarships. As a plan, we did not want to waste our scholarships. We wanted to save them. Last year, we had scholarships available. We used them for Breiden Fehoko, Jonathan Giles and Thaddeus Moss. I’m glad that we had those scholarships available. We believe that Breiden Fehoko and Jonathan Giles will start for us this year and will be two of the best players on our team. Thaddeus Moss will add to the mix. We wanted to save those scholarships for either transfers from other universities that will fit specific needs or graduate transfers, perhaps a graduate transfer at quarterback or cornerback. That’s the reason we didn’t sign 25. That was the plan and has always been a plan. If we don’t use those scholarships for transfers or graduate transfers, we feel that this is one of the top classes in the state of Louisiana. We can add them for next class. We are excited about what happened today. Obviously, we are disappointed with some of the losses, but you know what? We have the guys who want to fight for the Tigers, and we are proud of that.”

On spending time recruiting players and the flip at the last minute …
“It’s tough. One of those players was three years, maybe four. We put a lot of work into him. All indications the whole time was that he was coming here. The night before, you get a phone call, and he’s not. Obviously, you have to change your plan. That’s recruiting. We are happy with the guys that we got. We want guys who want to be at LSU.”

On the depth at cornerback …
“We are going to see. We have four cornerbacks right now on our team. We are going to look for graduate transfers that may be available. Obviously, we wanted to sign one more, but we didn’t. That’s just the way it goes. We are going to find some guys that can play cornerback. We will be fine.”

On the changes that he will make next year in regards to recruiting …
“We are going to be more selective as far as in the beginning of the recruiting period because this year in the state of Louisiana we feel that we have some of the top players in the country. We are going to be more selective with our scholarships. We are going to fill specific needs. We are going to go to Houston a lot more. I think that this year is going to be a great year in Houston. We are already on top of some of the top players in Houston, in the state of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. Stay close to home. All of the players that we lost and didn’t come here were from out of state. We feel that if we do a good job in state, we are going to do a good job at LSU.”

On the confidence in the wide receivers …
“We are very confident. We are very confident in Jonathan Giles. He was a guy that we couldn’t cover last year. Then, you add to the mix five new guys coming in. They all do things differently. They are all very talented. Obviously, four of them are young. I do believe having Terrace (Marshall Jr.) here early, I do believe Ja’Marr (Chase) is very close to our program and that he can pick up some things beginning in June. Kenan (Jones) can too. So can Jaray (Jenkins). All four of those guys are going to be expected to play for us next year. I feel that two of them may start for us. I know that Jonathan Giles right now is on our starting roster on offense. He’s one of our better players on offense, and I’m glad we have him.”

On this year’s recruiting class ranking …
“Let’s see what happens with this class. We have some defensive lineman and some offensive linemen who are very good. I trust in my rankings. I chose this class. I trust in my abilities to evaluate and develop better than anybody else. I’m not going to trust anyone else’s evaluation. We could have had a higher class, and I understand that. We missed on some so-called guys. To get two of the best receivers in the country, that was something we wanted to do. To get five defensive tackles, to sign eight of the 10 guys in the state of Louisiana, we are proud of them.”

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