Ridley undecided on pro future
Big season leaves junior running back with a choice
By BEN LOVE
Tiger Rag Editor
Who would’ve thunk it a year ago?
Coming off a fairly average effort in LSU’s home win over Arkansas (14 carries, 48 yards), then-sophomore Stevan Ridley ended up exiting the team’s bowl game with another uninspired final stat line (12 carries, 13 yards, 1 TD vs. Penn State).
And yet, in December 2010, here we are, and the guy who simply played back-up to injured 2009 frontrunners Charles Scott and Keiland Williams is now the man.
After dashing through ‘10 to the tune of 1,042 yards and 14 rushing touchdowns, Ridley also has a decision to make regarding whether or not he’d like to join Scott and Williams in the NFL.
Ridley, originally from Natchez, Miss., was the SEC’s fourth-leading rusher this season, running for an average of 86.8 yards/game, and helped spark a ground game revolution at LSU, at least compared to a season ago.
In ‘09, LSU ranked second to last in the conference in the rushing department, racking up less than 123 yards/game. Fast-forward to ‘10, the backfield’s Year of Ridley, and the Bayou Bengals were the fourth-best in the SEC toting the pigskin (177.2 yards/game).
For his efforts, he was named second-team All-SEC by the Associated Press and first-team All-SEC by the league’s coaches.
But, as peers and coaches have noticed Ridley’s maturation and talents, so to have NFL scouts.
All that’s gotten many to wonder whether or not the talented Mr. Ridley will be back on the bayou in 2011.
Wednesday afternoon, reporters asked Ridley about whether or not he’s thinking about “the league.”
“Everybody thinks about it. Can’t say I don’t. But I really haven’t made a decision on that yet,” said Ridley. “Right now, I’m just focusing on this last game. We have to finish this season with a win. So that’s really my main focus right now, not what could be. I just focus on (my) day-to-day and take it one day at a time.”
While it certainly wasn’t incriminating, Ridley’s response did little to hush talks surrounding his potential coming out for April’s draft.
Also interesting is how the question was phrased to Ridley. The reporter asking the question essentially tried to give the running back an opportunity to squash those rumors, asking if he’d like to “put any of that to rest.”
As you can see from Ridley’s response, he didn’t take the opportunity to do so.
We’ll see. There’s a lot of things that can happen between now and April, but it’s at least safe to say the Stevan Ridley watch for LSU can begin now.
Editor Ben Love covers LSU football and basketball for Tiger Rag. Reach him at email@example.com.