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Breaking: LSU WR Kayshon Boutte declares for 2023 NFL Draft

LSU wide receiver Kayshon Boutte declared for the 2023 NFL Draft Wednesday after announcing he would return to the Tigers for another season. It was previously announced that Boutte would not be available for Monday’s Citrus Bowl against Purdue when LSU coach Brian Kelly met with media members on Wednesday. 

Boutte’s 2022 season, his junior campaign, ends with 48 receptions for 538 yards (11.2 average) and two touchdowns in 11 games (10 starts). He broke out as a sophomore during the 2021 season, catching 38 passes for 509 yards (13.4 average) and nine touchdowns over six games (all starts). As a freshman with the Tigers in 2020, Boutte made 45 catches for 735 yards (16.3 average) and five touchdowns through 10 games (five starts).

A five-star recruit in the Class of 2020, Boutte went with his home-state school out of New Iberia (La.) Westgate. Gabe Brooks, who evaluates prospects in Louisiana for 247Sports, projected Boutte as a future first-round pick with a comparison to Stefon Diggs of the Buffalo Bills.

Boutte, in his initial decision to return for the 2023 season, credited the turnaround pulled off by Kelly in his first year as Tigers coach. The Tigers went 9-4 and won the SEC West under Kelly after he was hired away from Notre Dame in late 2021 to replace Ed Oregon.

“LSU has been nothing but amazing to me,” Boutte wrote. “My growth under the new staff has helped me reach new levels. While we did not achieve the overall goal, we still fought and produced results that will be a stepping stone for future success. The goal is always to win a national championship at LSU and that will never change. We made strides this year but ultimately fell short. That is why I believe we can accomplish many things moving forward. I believe in this team, coaches, strength staff, nutrition staff and training staff.”

LSU and Purdue are set to kick in Monday’s Citrus Bowl at noon ET. It is the first meeting in football between the two schools when they clash in Orlando. “We would love to get back to winning ways,” Kelly said in early December when LSU learned of its Purdue matchup. “We have lost two games, obviously to the No. 1 team in the country this past weekend. But again, you know, playing Purdue, a team that won their side of the Big Ten, have a lot of respect for Jeff. His times play with an edge. Played them when I was at Notre Dame. He’s got a great, creative offense.”