Junior wide receiver D.J. Chark announced on Twitter on Monday that he will return to LSU for his senior year. In the tweet, Chark said it took a lot of thought, but he credited his family and LSU receivers coach Dameyune Craig for help him make the decision.
"After long conversations with my family, as well as my magnificent mentor and coach, Coach Craig, I have decided to return to LSU for my senior season and finish what I started," the Alexandria Sr. High School product said on Twitter. "This will allow me to not only continue to grow with a team that I have created many memories with, but it also allows me to finish my undergraduate years and receive a degree from this university."
The 6-3, 187-pound receiver and former three-star Scout prospect racked up 466 yards on 26 catches, averaging almost 18 yards per catch in his junior year. Chark also totaled 122 yards on the ground and will be a big option for new offensive coordinator Matt Canada to use in his jet sweep concept.
After his first two seasons that saw him catch zero balls, Chark said that his bond with teammates, thanks to the opportunities Les Miles gave him as a 17-year old, and what Ed Orgeron has done for him, are also big reasons to return.
"I am thankful for the things that Coach Orgeron has done for me, especially in this last year with the tribulations that the team as a whole had to conquer," Chark said. "Over the years, I have developed an irreplaceable bond with my teammates, as well as a deeper understanding of myself and what I want in life."
Chark will wear No. 7 for his senior year, the number worn by former LSU running back Leonard Fournette in 2016 and has been worn by the likes of Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson as well.
LSU loses senior Travin Dural to graduation and might lose receiver Malachi Dupre, who is undecided about whether he will declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. The deadline to declare is January 16.