Why LSU’s Kayshon Boutte changed his mind about the NFL Draft, won’t play in the Citrus Bowl

By | January 2, 2023

LSU will have quarterback Jayden Daniels available for the Citrus Bowl on Monday, but the Tigers will be without wide receiver Kayshon Boutte when they take the field against Purdue.

Boutte released a statement in early December explaining why he was forgoing the NFL Draft and returning to LSU, but then he reversed course and declared for the draft days before the game.

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Boutte’s absence leaves Daniels without two top receivers, as Jaray Jenkins also opted out. It also raises questions about why Boutte changed his mind so late in the process.

Here’s what you need to know about why Kayshon Boutte reversed course and declared for the NFL Draft.

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Why isn’t Kayshon Boutte playing in the Citrus Bowl?

The confusion began when LSU released a statement last week announcing Boutte wouldn’t play in the Citrus Bowl but was enrolled for the spring semester.

Boutte posted a short statement hours later, writing: “After careful thoughts and consideration, I will be declaring for the 2023 NFL draft.” Boutte didn’t offer any insight as to what happened behind the scenes to change his mind.

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Tigers coach Brian Kelly said Boutte “went through a thoughtful process and ultimately decided this was in his best interest.”

Boutte’s statement announcing his return to school was much lengthier. He called the 2022 season “a stepping stone for future success” and said his goal was to win a national championship next season.

What are Kayshon Boutte’s NFL Draft prospects?

Boutte looked like a sure-fire future first-round prospect as a freshman in 2020, totaling 735 yards and five touchdowns on 45 catches, but he missed half his sophomore season with an injury and took a step back with just 538 yards in 11 games this season.

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Boutte looked like a player who could have benefited from one more year in college to improve his stock, but he still figures to be a sought-after receiver in April.

LSU will rely more heavily on Malik Nabers and Brian Thomas Jr. in the passing game against Purdue.