The LSU defense will enter a new era under Bo Pelini this fall, but it will reportedly do so without a key defensive end.

Per Sports Illustrated’s Ross Dellenger, Neil Farrell — who was projected to be a starter this fall — has decided to opt out of the 2020 season amid COVID-19 concerns.

Per Dellenger, Farrell’s family was greatly affected by COVID-19, so Farrell wants to be safe. He plans to return next season:

In 2019, Farrell played in 14 games, starting 3 of them. He recorded 45 tackles (6.5 for a loss) and 3 sacks on the season.

Who steps up and fills the opening remains to be seen, but the Tigers will likely be glad to have the rising senior return in 2021.