Friday marks an important day for both LSU and the SEC as a whole in regards to the 2020 football season.
Starting today through August 16, schools are allowed up to 14 hours a week of work, specifically strength and conditioning, meetings and walkthroughs. It is all part of the conference’s new preseason calendar that is based on the guidance of the SEC’s Return to Activity and Medical Guidance Task Force. August 7th was originally meant to be the start of preseason football practice, but that of course has been pushed back due to COVID-19.
From August 17 through the opening game, which is still scheduled for September 26, teams are allowed 25 practices with no more than 20 hours of work per week. Per the SEC, schools must have a five day acclimation period: two with helmets only, two in shells and one in full pads.
Whenever the 2020 season does start, expect junior wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase to be with the team. The reigning Bilentikoff award winner is “locked in” on playing per his father. In recent days there have been several notable college football players who elected to opt out of the season and instead focus on the 2021 NFL Draft, including four players who will likely be taken in the first round: Minnesota wide receiver Rashod Bateman, Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore, Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau and Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons.
Chase, who is widely thought of as a top-five pick come next spring, is not following the trend and appears committed to playing. Chase has a chance to further solidify himself as the greatest receiver in school history. He needs 77 catches, 909 yards and 4 touchdowns to set new program career records.
While we’ll see Chase playing for LSU, we will not see Jamal Pettigrew or Peter Parrish. Pettigrew, a senior, entered the NCAA transfer portal this past Saturday. Pettigrew only caught two passes in his LSU career and missed the 2018 season with a torn ACL injury. He has not said where he will be transferring.
Parrish, on the other hand, has made his destination known and will be transferring to Memphis. Parrish was suspended in the spring and did not play in 2019. He was a four-star prospect and No. 11 overall dual-threat quarterback coming out of Phenix City, Alabama.
Finally, the Amway preseason Coaches Poll was released Thursday and LSU opened at No. 5. It is the 20th consecutive season LSU begins the season ranked. The SEC has six teams ranked 13th or better and has four in the top-10.
The rest of the Top-25 is as follows:
- Clemson (38)
- Ohio State (17)
- Alabama (4)
- LSU (6)
- Penn State
- Notre Dame
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State
- North Carolina
- Virginia Tech
- Iowa State