Arden Key will not play in Citrus Bowl, Ed Orgeron says

By CODY WORSHAM | Tiger Rag Editor

LSU pass rusher Arden Key will not play in the Citrus Bowl against Notre Dame, head coach Ed Orgeron announced Wednesday.

Key has been nursing several injuries all year. After setting the school record with 11.0 sacks a year ago, to go along with 12.5 tackles for loss, Key saw career lows in 2017 in games played (8), sacks (4.0), and tackles for loss (5.5).

Corey Thompson and Donnie Alexander will also miss the game with injuries. Kicker Cameron Gamble is ineligible and will not play, either.

Likely to leave for the NFL Draft, where he is expected to be a first round pick, Key will finish his career at LSU with 20 sacks, tying him on the all-time school list with Jarvis Green and Melvin Oliver and first all-time among players who played just three seasons.

“Arden’s been battling some injuries,” Orgeron said. “He’s not going to be able to practice, won’t be able to play. That decision kind of came down today. I’ve talked to him. I know he’s tried.”

Key hasn’t indicated to Orgeron whether or not he will return. That conversation will take place after LSU’s matchup with the Irish on New Year’s Day.

GUICE UPDATE

Derrius Guice is also battling ailment and hasn’t practiced yet ahead of the bowl game, but Orgeron didn’t rule him out. In fact, though he is “nursing an injury,” in Orgeron’s words, he’s likely to feature in what would be expected to be his final game at LSU, though Guice has not yet made a final decision.

“I expect him to practice next week and play in the bowl,” Orgeron said.

SIGNING CLASS CHAT

Orgeron went in-depth on the 18 players LSU signed Wednesday as part of this year’s inaugural early signing period. The Tigers are set to sign one more player, running back Tae Provens, on Thursday, with five-star receiver Terrace Marshall a possibility to land with LSU on Friday, and more signees to come in February’s signing period.

The class currently sits at No. 15 nationally, according to 247Sports.com’s Composite rankings, with five-stars like Marshall and cornerback Patrick Surtain Jr. still very much in the picture for LSU.

Here are some of Orgeron’s comments on the class from yesterday.

On the star rankings…

“They fit some needs. Whether they are a three-star or a two-star, I didn’t care. I knew what we ended. I saw them play. I knew we could develop them with our coaching staff. I think some of them are going to be some very good players.”

On the early signing period…

“Here’s how I look at things. I was against it. I’m sure many coaches are against it. I still think it’s tough and unfair in a lot of ways. But it’s the rule and we have to take advantage of it. I thought our staff did a tremendous job of taking advantage of it. Now that it’s over, I’m glad that it is over. I think we had a good plan, took advantage of the plan and then executed very well.”

On if LSU signs a quarterback in 2018…

“That’s a possibility. There’s a possibility we do sign a quarterback. We’ll have to see. These next spots will be by need basis. There’ll be some tough decisions to be made. I always feel we need a quarterback.”

On the running back position…

“We are going to sign another running back, maybe two more.  We’re looking for playmakers. We have our eyes on some guys that are dynamic. I feel good about our recruiting process at that position.”

On Jeff Grimes…

“I want to compliment coach Grimes for No. 1, he got a better job, he got an offensive coordinator job to better his career. We wish him the best. But he was heavily involved with all these linemen and went out with a first-class deal He helped us stay with these linemen. He sold LSU the whole time. I can’t thank him enough. That was a critical part of our recruiting.”

 

 

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