Ja'Marr Chase is LSU's next No. 7

LSU Tigers wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase (1) runs with the ball against the Clemson Tigers in the fourth quarter in the College Football Playoff national championship game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Photo credit Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

LSU's Biletnikoff Award-winning receiver Ja'Marr Chase will wear No. 7 for the Tigers in 2020, coach Ed Orgeron announced on Thursday.

“Ja’Marr is a tremendous football player from the great state of Louisiana that represents our football program with great character and integrity,” Orgeron said in a news release. “(His parents) Jimmy and Toleah have done a great job of raising him and he has worked extremely hard on and off the field to develop as a player, while also becoming an outstanding leader for our team.

"He’s very deserving of having the opportunity to be the next LSU player to wear number 7. I know he will do a great job of representing that number and all of those who have worn the number 7 before him.”

The No. 7 has been passed down from player to player since current Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson wore it at LSU. Notable players like Tyrann Mathieu, Leonard Fournette and Grant Delpit have all worn the number.

Chase had a record-setting  2019 finishing with 84 receptions for an SEC record and NCAA leading 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was also the first player in LSU history to have three 200-yard receiving games in the same season.

“This was a tough decision for me,” Chase said in a new release. “I've been thinking about this for a couple of weeks. I look at No. 7 as a competitive number. I think the No. 7 at LSU is a challenge. There's a lot of things that go on in the year when you have 7 on, a lot of critics, a lot of people, a lot of expectations from 7, and I want to have that challenge upon me."

LSU begins Spring practice Saturday.