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LSU tight end Jamal Pettigrew (80) on the field in the second half of the Tigers' 42-6 win over the Aggies, Saturday, October 5, 2019, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Former LSU tight end Jamal Pettigrew has signed with McNeese State, the school announced Saturday afternoon.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron said Pettigrew, who entered the NCAA transfer portal last week, was seeking more playing time for his final collegiate season. Pettigrew graduated from LSU this summer and is eligible to play immediately.

The 6-foot-7, 254-pound St. Augustine High graduate has recorded two catches for 17 yards in his LSU career.

Pettigrew joins a McNeese State program with several LSU ties. McNeese coach Frank Wilson is entering his first season, and he was LSU's associate head coach, running backs coach and recruiting coordinator from 2010 to 2015.

Orgeron's son, Cody, is also the team's projected starting quarterback.

"We're very excited to sign someone like Jamal who falls in line with the type of player we're looking to get here at McNeese," Wilson said in a statement. "He's a guy we were recruiting in 2016 (while at LSU) so we're very familiar with him. He's another player that will help get us back to the top."

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LSU is particularly deep at tight end this season, and five-star true freshman Arik Gilbert, last year's Gatorade National Player of the Year, is expected to assume the main role in 2020.

Pettigrew would also have been fighting for playing time against three other players: Tory Carter, a former fullback who caught two passes for 15 yards last season; Kole Taylor, a 6-foot-6, 220-pound incoming freshman from Colorado; and Nick Storz, who transitioned to football after spending two seasons as a pitcher on the LSU baseball team.

Players who enter the NCAA transfer portal can be contacted by other schools, but they can also remove their name from the portal and return to their original teams.

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Orgeron said in a Tuesday morning interview with WNXX-FM, 104.5's "Off the Bench" that the door was open for Pettigrew to return.

"I told him, 'Go test the waters. If there's something that fits you, go,'" Orgeron said. "'If not, come back.'"

"It's his senior year," he added. "He wants to play."

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Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.