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LSU safety JaCoby Stevens (3) pulls in an interception during the second half of the Tigers' 50-7 win against Texas A&M, Saturday, November 29, 2019 at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge.

After a long string of departures, LSU received news that one of its most crucial defenders is returning for his senior year.

Safety JaCoby Stevens announced Wednesday evening that he will remain on campus in 2020, putting the NFL on hold for another season.

"After much thought, prayer and talking with my family, coaches and the people closest to me, I have decided to return for my senior year in pursuit to leave my legacy at LSU," Stevens posted on social media.

Stevens joined starting nose tackle Tyler Shelvin as the LSU underclassmen who announced their return, and the 6-foot-1, 228-pound junior's presence should mitigate the loss of All-American safety Grant Delpit.

Delpit was among the six LSU underclassmen who declared early for the NFL draft: inside linebackers Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen, wide receiver Justin Jefferson, center Lloyd Cushenberry and left tackle Saahdiq Charles.

Stevens is one of LSU's most versatile defensive backs, and he often played the "quarters" safety position in defensive coordinator Dave Aranda's scheme. He played deep in coverage, played on the edge for run-stopping, blitzed in pass-rush opportunities.

Stevens was second on the team in tackles (92), and he also recorded nine tackles for loss, five sacks and three interceptions.

The Tennessee native was named second-team All-SEC in 2019, and he was a three-time SEC defensive player of the week.


Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.