LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase Selected as Top Male Amateur Athlete in New Orleans
Photo Courtesy of LSU Athletics
NEW ORLEANS (May 22, 2020) – Ja’Marr Chase, the star wide receiver for the national champion LSU football team, has been selected as the Allstate Sugar Bowl’s Greater New Orleans Male Amateur Athlete of the Year. The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee, sponsored by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, selects annual award winners in a variety of categories; it also selects Amateur Athletes of the Month and each year’s Hall of Fame class. Overall, 24 individuals and four teams will be honored for their 2019-20 achievements. Honorees are being announced over a period of 24 days, wrapping up with the Corbett Awards for the top male and female amateur athletes in the state on June 10 and 11.
A sophomore for the undefeated Tigers, Chase had a record-breaking 2019, setting the school record for single-season touchdown receptions with a national-best 20, shattering the previous record of 12 and also setting the SEC record. The Archbishop Rummel grad finished the year with 84 catches for an LSU and SEC-record 1,780 yards. He had nine 100-yard receiving games, including a 221-yard, 9-catch, 2-TD performance in the CFP National Championship win over Clemson and a 10-catch, 4-TD, 229-yard effort against Vanderbilt. For the season, he has 70 receptions for 1,457 yards (second in the nation), the second-most in school history. He was recognized with the Biletnikoff Award as the top receiver in the nation and was also a unanimous first-team All-American and All-SEC selection.
“It’s a dream come true,” Chase said after winning the national championship in the Superdome. “I had all my goals written down on my mirror. I accomplished every goal I wrote down. I got to come up with new goals now. This season has been ridiculous, man, that’s all I can say.””
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee has presented annual awards to amateur athletes in the region since 1958 – Chase is the fourth LSU football player in the last 40 years to be recognized, joining Corey Webster (2003), Tyrann Mathieu (2012) and Leonard Fournette (2016).
The other finalists for Greater New Orleans Male Amateur Athlete of the Year were Donovan Kaufman (Archbishop Rummel Football), Sully Laiche (Nichols State Football), William Loyd (Xavier University Basketball) and Christian Westcott (Lakeshore High Football). Kaufman, a senior linebacker, anchored the vaunted Raider defense that led Rummel to a perfect 13-0 season and the Allstate Sugar Bowl/LHSAA Division I state championship. The District 9-5A MVP and the state’s defensive MVP (as selected by the LSWA) posted 99 total tackles with four sacks, four interceptions, four forced fumbles and five pass breakups. Hailing from Gramercy and a graduate of Lutcher, Laiche was a one-man wrecking crew on the Colonels’ defensive line. The Southland Conference Player of the Year, Laiche was also a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as the top defensive player in the FCS. Loyd earned NAIA Second-Team All-American recognition after leading Xavier to its first Gulf Coast Athletic Conference (GCAC) Tournament Championship since 1996. The MVP of the GCAC Tournament, Loyd also was a First-Team All-GCAC selection and a GCAC All-Defensive honoree. Westcott closed a memorable senior season by being named the Louisiana Sports Writers Association’s Mr. Football as well as being named the Gatorade Louisiana Football Player of the Year and the LSWA Class 4A Player of the Year. completed 151 of 275 pass attempts for 2,790 yards and 35 touchdowns, and he rushed 198 times for 1,368 yards and 38 more scores.
Allstate Sugar Greater New Orleans Sports Awards, 2019-20
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Lakenya Reed, Booker T. Washington Basketball
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Coach of the Year, New Orleans: Nick Monica, Archbishop Rummel Football
Outstanding Female Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Angela Charles-Alfred, Xavier University Tennis
Outstanding Male Amateur Athlete, New Orleans: Ja’Marr Chase, LSU Football
Outstanding Boys’ Prep Team, New Orleans: St. James High School Football
Outstanding Girls’ Prep Team, New Orleans: Metairie Park Country Day School Volleyball
Outstanding Collegiate Coach, Louisiana: Ed Orgeron, LSU Football
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Perry Clark, Tulane Basketball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Tim Floyd, UNO Basketball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Rick Jones, Tulane Baseball
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Craig Perret, Horse Racing
Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2020 Inductee: Ashley Tappin-Doussan, Swimming
Jimmy Collins Special Awards: Demario Davis, Eastbank Little League
Eddie Robinson Award: Keeshawn Davenport, UNO Basketball
Corbett Award – Female: Tonea Marshall, LSU Track & Field
Corbett Award – Male: Joe Burrow, LSU Football
The Greater New Orleans Sports Awards Committee began in 1957 when James Collins spearheaded a group of sports journalists to form a sports awards committee to immortalize local sports history. For 13 years, the committee honored local athletes each month. In 1970, the Sugar Bowl stepped in to sponsor and revitalize the committee, leading to the creation of the Greater New Orleans Sports Hall of Fame in 1971, honoring 10 legends from the Crescent City in its first induction class. While adding the responsibility of selecting Hall of Famers, the committee has continued to recognize the top amateur athlete in the Greater New Orleans area each month – the honors enter their 64th year in 2020. To be eligible, an athlete must be a native of the greater New Orleans area or must compete for a team in the metropolitan region.
The Allstate Sugar Bowl has established itself as one of the premier college football bowl games, having hosted 28 national champions, 96 Hall of Fame players, 50 Hall of Fame coaches and 18 Heisman Trophy winners in its 86-year history. The 87th Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, which will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal, is scheduled to be played on January 1, 2021. In addition to football, the Sugar Bowl Committee annually invests over $1.6 million into the community through the hosting and sponsorship of sporting events, awards and clinics. Through these efforts, the organization supports and honors over 100,000 student-athletes each year, while injecting over $2.7 billion into the local economy in the last decade.