By LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
With a new Head Coach in Brian Kelly and his entirely revamped staff, wildly different approach or philosophy compared to prior head man Ed Orgeron, while nearly 25% of their teammates and 2021 coaches exited amid Kelly's transition, it's a major sense of pride to see so many Tigers excel in 2022....in fact, we were forced to leave off 3 Tigers who could've easily fit on this list.
We will list those three when the top 10 countdown concludes....but for now, get into this, get yourself relaxed, drink something warm, eat something good, jive on our vibe and dive into the ultimate 2022 breakdown:
8. JARAY JENKINS
-107 Yards After Catch
23 First Downs
Early in the season, when LSU needed a play to rescue themselves from large deficits, QB Jayden Daniels threw the ball to the only receiver he trusted at the time, veteran senior 2019 champion Jaray Jenkins....and in the face of unceasing, suffocating pressure, insurmountable odds, alongside "gotta have it" moments, the often overlooked Tiger wideout defiantly came up with the goods time and time again.
It started Week 1 vs Florida State, inside the Superdome.
Jenkins would catch 2 touchdowns to help the Tigers crawl back into the game, his first cutting the lead to 24-17 with 9 minutes left....but his second will be the catch that is most remembered:
4th and goal, 0:00 on the clock....one untimed down to tie it up, and Jaray Jenkins hauls in a stunner at the back of the end zone, nearly sealing LSU's miracle comeback.
We all know how that ended.
Two weeks later, when LSU were losing 13-0 and about to head into halftime with Mississippi State receiving the second half kickoff, LSU simply had to score on their last possession before half.
Thanks to a huge touchdown from Jenkins, the Tigers cut the lead to 13-7 and never looked back, winning the game by 15 in the end.
It was always about the timing of his touchdowns, too, again stopping the bleeding when Daniels found him for another score vs Ole Miss, cutting their lead down from 17-3 to 17-10...igniting LSU's surge which would end up becoming a 45-20 beat down.
Later, Jaray snagged his 5th career touchdown in 3 appearances against the Florida Gators, scoring on a 54 yard bomb to take a 28-21 halftime lead....again, an advantage that would prove to be unassailable for Napier's Gators.
LSU's game-breaker topped off his campaign with a team-leading 6th touchdown grab vs defending National Champions & #1-ranked Georgia, Jenkins now tied his career high in touchdowns.
It's a strange thing....within a receiving corps containing Kayshon Boutte, Malik Nabers, Jack Bech, Brian Thomas Jr, Kyren Lacy, Chris Hilton Jr and Javen Nicholas, the 2019 veteran would be the Tiger wide out who led the way in scoring and one of two who made the most game-changing plays.
Jaray also helped a disastrous special teams unit save some face, making 5 tackles on returns (2 saving likely touchdowns) as he posted the 6th best special teams grade of any Tiger.
It was also Jaray's intangibles which made him special: always first to pick up any suffering or struggling teammates, supporting Malik Nabers and Jack Bech after their early and mid-season fumbles, constantly pushing his teammates to a higher level.
Through and through, Jenkins made himself an NFL Draft steal for this upcoming spring, being the complete team player, extremely dependable on offense or special teams, while standing as a willing leader.
Through his unselfishness, unimpeachable character, unbreakable strength and iron-clad faith, Jaray continues to honor the life and legacy of his late mother Dee Dee with each day, achieving the LSU dream she always envisioned for him.
Graduating as a champion, a member of college football's greatest ever squad, part of the greatest ever receiving corps in college football history (2019), finishing his junior & senior campaigns among the team's leading receivers, Jaray Jenkins....the Pride of Jena, Louisiana, ended his LSU career as one of their most beloved Tigers ever.
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2022 Uninterrupted Writings Inc