Updated: Sep 25, 2020
by Lonn Phillips Sullivan
This is totally 2020 for us at LSUODYSSEY...writing one thing, sealing it with first hand sources and then bam, weeks later EVERYTHING changes...
What in the name of voodoo is geauxing on?
Opt outs...transfers...such little depth within the trenches (on both sides of the line) and yet here LSU were, poised and ready to take on the upcoming season.
There were no excuses made, the "next man up" mentality was being signed, sealed and espoused by every player, coach or team associate inside the program... even after losing the greatest player in college football Ja'Marr Chase, FS/CB Kary Vincent Jr (one of the top DBs in the nation, 4 INTs and 13 PDs last year), 90% of the offensive line caught Covid or were forced to isolate, 4 key D-linemen (Shelvin & Farrell opting out, Thomas and McLendon transferring closer to home in Alabama & Georgia respectively)....it seemed like LSU's roster was torn to shreds throughout August...and the names above weren't the only losses...we know about the Brooks, Parrish & Monroe transfers, the Donte Starks & Ray Parker suspensions...
Many across college football, especially those who hated the Tigers (or had their asses kicked in 2019 by Burrow & co) mocked LSU viciously, claiming their chances at SEC / CFP contention (or defending their title) were done.
But just like everything in 2020, things are never as they appear...
On Wednesday, LSUOdyssey were informed about the strong possibility that either Neil Farrell, Tyler Shelvin or both were OPTING IN...yes, that is now a 2020 thing....OPTING OUT...NOW OPTING BACK IN!!!
Once Neil's grandmother returned to health, we wanted to blast the internet with this news, however none of these "whispers" were even close to confirmed at the time, so we sat on it....we wanted Neil to be able to make his own decision once again.
We also shook our heads at the idea of dangling hope, only for these whispers to lay dormant and the failure of those findings stabbing Tiger fans in the heart again...yet, we should've remembered: this is 2020...there is no rhyme, there is no reason....only the madness of 2020's surreal horrors and intergalactic progress...all at the same time.
Over the weekend, Mike Scarborough and Are You Serious Sports first posted the possibility of the opt-ins and today Brody Miller confirmed the news:
NEIL FARRELL HAS RE-JOINED THE TEAM AS OF TODAY, appearing at LSU headquarters and taking part in some separate training led by Strength & Conditioning legend Tommy Moffitt....but as we were told loud and clear, "he's back with the team!"
Today was a victory for Neil & the Farrell family, those who love literal "comeback" stories, the entirety of the LSU football team, staff and of course, all of Neil's supporters across Tiger Nation...excepting some who really don't deserve the satisfaction of Farrell's return:
To anyone who went after and attacked Neil for his opt-out (via social media, none of those people would have the stones to say it to Farrell's face) I say to you with vengeful love:
You don't deserve to cheer or support #92 on Saturdays when he terrorizes every quarterback in the SEC...you still will and you'll forget alllll about some of the absolute garbage a few of you directed towards this young man for opting out (to be alongside his Covid-ailing grandmother).
But I don't write for the kind of people who would attack anyone, anyway...
I write for and represent real Tiger fans who embrace ALL Tigers: past, present and future...also, we write for people who understand at the end of the day, this is all just a sport...just a game, and the circumstances Neil's family were dealing with brought the sobering truth to a shocking reality for many college football fans.
Meanwhile, LSU's ten SEC opponents better get ready and buckle up...
Neil Farrell is a physically dominant, overpowering vendetta of trench warfare, a dynamo in combat with quick hands, a vast array of moves, and a steel-tipped tool box full of kick ass.
We projected 6.5 sacks in our powerhouse Neil Farrell 2020 Profile piece....and then literally a day later, Farrell opted out for the season....we felt we jinxed everything until we heard about his grandmother's health.
Now that things have reportedly turned for the very better concerning his family's health, Farrell is ready to continue his senior season and make his ascent.
We have no doubts Neil would've made an NFL squad if he'd left for last spring's NFL Draft; Concerning his playing time for this campaign, Orgeron has believed and backed Neil 100% on and especially off the field and Farrell will repay this belief by administering ultimate quarterback pain and breaking into the backfield many times throughout the upcoming season...and we believe when the lights shine brightest, he'll make the biggest of plays, in the end raising his stock enormously for the 2021 NFL Draft:
We're talking a 1st Round talent possessing grade A football IQ and most of all, Neil is a great young man who showed his sterling character and family values this summer... I would be shocked and dismayed if Farrell wasn't at least taken in the 2nd Round of next year's NFL Draft.
Now that Farrell has returned to his football family, our defensive line regains a priceless piece of its 2019 championship core. After listening to Pelini, Johnson and Orgeron discuss Farrell's position on the team, we feel he could easily be stationed on the interior or at defensive end, equally adept at the necessary brutalities (DT) and physicalities (DE) required along these vastly different D-Line spots.
Could we see a starting lineup of FARRELL, LOGAN, IKA & ANTHONY???
MOORE, FARRELL, IKA, ANTHONY???
Farrell's return is an absolutely colossal victory for the young man, his family and the LSU Tigers' chances at defending the National Championship:
Neil was critical to our pressuring of seven Top 10 quarterbacks, playing in big stretches during crunch time for the 2019 Tigers, leading all D-linemen in tackles (46), tackles for loss (7) and sacks (3), statistics #92 earned while receiving far less playing time than Rashard Lawrence, Tyler Shelvin, Apu Ika and Glen Logan.
Neil's reemergence, his presence, leadership and overwhelming suffocation against any offensive line is a massive boost for our depleted Tigers...just like a starving group of survivors stranded on an island, #92 has rode to shore on a boat stocked full of supplies....this D-Line is now hungrier than ever and the reinforcements may not be over....
Welcome back, Neil!
by Lonn Phillips Sullivan
Copyright 2020 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: Nursekort, LSUDan, Martin Moore, Marty Bergeron and Tony Two Bets!