Kayshon Boutte announces return to LSU football for senior year

BATON ROUGE - LSU football wide receiver Kayshon Boutte is returning to LSU for his senior season, he announced on Twitter on Monday.

Boutte, a projected first-round pick and an AP preseason first-team All-American to begin the year, has 48 catches for 538 yards and two touchdowns this season.

"Let's lock in and focus on the main goal of any LSU Tiger: Winning a National Championship," Boutte wrote.

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Boutte's decision comes as a pleasant shock for LSU fans, after he admitted this preseason that he considered entering his name into the transfer portal last offseason following Brian Kelly's hiring.

"It was all kind of weird, playing for people I've never really met," Boutte said in August. "I had never really met any of them personally, so I felt like I didn't fit."

He ultimately stayed, trusting the plan Kelly and his new staff had in place for him and the program. But his relationship with Kelly didn't get off to a great start, as the former Notre Dame coach "threw a shot across his bow" for not attending LSU's offseason workouts despite recovering from an ankle injury.

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"He's a great player. He's a good kid. But this has been a rough spot for him," Kelly said in March. "And what happens is you tend to get distracted because you're not involved in everything. But he's learning you got to be involved with everything whether you're injured or not."

Then, following LSU's opening-night loss to Florida State in which he had just two catches for 20 yards, Boutte deleted all references to LSU on his Instagram account.

However, his play eventually improved as the season went along, busting out for six receptions and 115 yards against Florida in Week 7. But his best performance and moment of the season likely came in the SEC Championship Game on Saturday, as he caught six passes for 107 yards and a touchdown, including a 53-yard catch and score in the first quarter.

Through it all, the expectation was for Boutte to enter the NFL Draft once the season was over, given his preseason status as a first-round pick. But even with that, he has stayed and joined an LSU receiving corps that is expected to return all but one of its top contributors and add two top-100 high school recruits: Shelton Sampson Jr. and Jalen Brown.

Koki Riley covers LSU sports for The Daily Advertiser and the USA TODAY Sports South Region. Email him at kriley@theadvertiser.com and follow him on Twitter at @KokiRiley.

This article originally appeared on Lafayette Daily Advertiser: LSU football, Kayshon Boutte will come back for senior season