Ed Orgeron impressed with the leadership displayed by Ja'Marr Chase this offseason: 'He's been phenomenal'
It’s human nature to expect someone to ease up after achieving the level of success that Ja’Marr Chase experienced last fall for LSU as he registered 84 receptions, 1,780 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns during his sophomore season, but according to head coach Ed Orgeron, the 2019 Biletnikoff Award winner has taken the opposite approach this offseason.
Chase has found ways to improve his game.
That’s a scary thought for SEC defenses that failed to limit LSU’s star receiver last fall as Chase had seven games with at least 140 receiving yards (including three games with over 200 receiving yards) and scored multiple touchdowns in six games during his historic sophomore campaign.
Now with Joe Burrow and Clyde Edwards-Helaire off to the NFL, the Tigers needed players to step up and become the new leaders of the program’s offense.
During a recent interview with ESPN 104.5 FM Baton Rouge radio show “Off The Bench,” Orgeron pointed toward Chase as the new leader for LSU’s offense.
“He’s been phenomenal. Ja’Marr is an excellent young man,” Orgeron said of Chase. “He’s very humble. He doesn’t require a lot of attention. He’s not in the media a lot, he just comes to work. He’s a leader.
“They’ve had player-only practices on Saturday morning when I come to work at 10 o’clock, they running through red zone routes on offense. They are on their own out there and he’s the one that’s leading. He’s the one encouraging everybody. He’s in the weight room. I think he’s in the best shape has ever been. I can’t say enough good things about Ja’Marr Chase and what he’s done for LSU.”
Of course, it’s one thing to lead with words, it’s another to lead with actions. According to Orgeron, the practice battles between Chase and Derek Stingley Jr. are starting to become legendary in Baton Rouge and help set the tone with the rest of the team regarding the level of intensity that’s required to excel on the field come the fall.
“No question, it just goes to show you, what we say in recruiting man, you go best against best, iron sharpens iron every day on the palmarosa, which we call our football,” Orgeron continued. “Those guys they go after it every day. As the head coach, you look at those two guys going after it, I say, ‘Man, maybe we need to slow down.’ But nah, not at LSU. We are going full speed.”
Good luck SEC defenses, it sounds like you are going to need it this fall.