Sam Spiegelman/SEC Country
LSU linebacker Arden Key has a chance to return by the time of the season-opener against BYU, says Ed Orgeron

Bayou Bengal Briefing: Even more Arden Key updates heading into LSU football’s fall camp

Nick Suss

Welcome to the Bayou Bengal Briefing, SEC Country’s daily morning column covering LSU football with beat writer Nick Suss. Today we continue the summer-long Arden Key discussion, bring back Four Friday Feelings, bowl with the best of them and more. Enjoy!

Somewhat definitive Arden Key words

For the second time in two days, LSU football coach Ed Orgeron spoke in front of a crowd Thursday, addressing fans at the Walk-On’s in New Orleans. He mostly repeated his company lines from Wednesday, but added one nugget of information about his best player.

Ever since SEC Media Days, it’s been anticipated that junior edge rusher Arden Key will miss the beginning of fall camp, but no additional timeline was added. Thursday, Orgeron added a little more specificity to the discussion, saying he doesn’t expect Key to don pads “in the next couple of weeks.

Orgeron didn’t rule Key out for the season opener versus BYU on Sept. 2. Obviously, the sooner Key gets back the better things will be for LSU. Key is a projected top-10 NFL draft pick and was a preseason All-SEC honoree after setting the LSU single-season sack record in 2016 with 12.

Key is on the preseason watch lists for the Bronko Nagusrki and Bednarik Awards, given to the top defensive player in the nation, and for the Butkus Award given to the nation’s best linebacker. If Key is unable to go, LSU will likely call on true freshman K’Lavon Chaisson or redshirt freshmen Ray Thornton and Andre Anthony.

Orgeron will speak to the media for the first time to open up fall camp on Sunday. Check back to SEC Country around 3 p.m. CT Sunday for live updates.

Four Friday Feelings

Football is (almost) back, so let’s bring back an old Bayou Bengal Briefing favorite. That’s right. It’s time for Four Friday Feelings.

In case you don’t know the drill, it’s the simplest game there is. I pick four LSU football players, and I guess how they’re feeling this Friday. And, of course, I’ll only be using SAT vocabulary words. Because this is as much about analysis as it is about learning.

Let’s get to it.

Danny Etling is feeling… BUOYANT

Definition: Not easily depressed; cheerful

The last few months haven’t been great for Danny Etling. A new offensive coordinator came in and took away his starting QB job in favor of an open competition. He looked horrendous in the LSU spring game. He immediately followed that up with a back surgery. And he had to grit through an offseason of rehab before he could begin throwing again.

But things are looking up for Etling. Orgeron said Wednesday he “really feels like” Etling is going to be the starter. So why not come into camp buoyant? Or, at the very least, cautiously so.

Donte Jackson is feeling… ACCEDENCE

Definition: The act of attaining or assuming an office, title or dignity

When it comes to assuming the throne, running back Derrius Guice will receive most of the attention this year as he replaces All-American first-round pick Leonard Fournette. But junior cornerback Donte Jackson is in the midst of an accedence of his own, taking over for Tre’Davious White as LSU’s No. 1 cornerback.

LSU might be a running back school right now, but to some fans, LSU will always be DBU above all else. And this is Jackson’s group to lead now.

D.J. Chark is feeling… PREPONDERANT

Definition: Measurably superior, prevailing

After three years of sitting behind Malachi Dupre and Travin Dural on the depth chart, the receiving corps belongs to D.J. Chark this year. The rising senior is LSU’s best option at wide receiver and the only returning Tiger who made more than 10 catches in 2016.

The men behind him on the depth chart are talented. But other than Guice and Key, no one has a bigger lead on their starting job than Chark.

Myles Brennan is feeling… AGOG

Definition: Highly excited by eagerness, anticipation or curiosity

Myles Brennan is the one question mark in LSU’s quarterback controversy. And after Orgeron said this week he feels Brennan will win a championship someday, the expectations are high.

This week will be exciting for all of LSU’s incoming freshman. Your first fall camp is always a memorable one. But no one has higher stakes, or is more anticipated, than Brennan.

And now for something completely different

In case you didn’t know, Guice is a gifted bowler. Need proof? He landed at a SportsCenter Top 10 nominee Thursday after a tweet of him knocking down the pins went viral.

Add “behind the back bowling” to the long list of things Guice is better than you at. This kid is a freak.

Elsewhere in LSU football Twitter news

Junior safety John Battle is one of the most multi-talented members of the LSU football team. In addition to being in line to replace Jamal Adams as LSU’s top safety this season, Battle is an amateur photographer who can sometimes be seen snapping shots at non-football LSU sporting events.

A Miami native, Battle showed off his chops while taking pictures of his hometown Miami Dolphins and former LSU wideout Jarvis Landry. Check it out.

Battle also took photos of Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, and his Twitter account is littered with photos galore. Give him a follow to support his future career. And be sure to tell him the Bayou Bengal Briefing sent you.

Elsewhere on SEC Country

SEC Country’s position-by-position preview of the 2017 LSU football season continued Thursday with a deep-dive into Jackson and LSU’s cornerbacks. Between Jackson and Kevin Toliver, the Tigers are going to be talented at the top. But the real strength of the unit might be its depth, where young returning players such as Kristian Fulton and Greedy Williams will make their marks alongside incoming freshmen Kary Vincent Jr. and Jontre Kirklin.

Be sure to click through that link for every piece of cornerback information you need, plus links to all of our other position previews.

What should I do this weekend?

We’ve only got one weekend left until football can carry us through Christmastime. But since we still need to bide our time, here are a couple of activities you can occupy yourself with in the Baton Rouge area this weekend.

  • As has become a Friday tradition, the Grind Gastropub is hosting Friday Night Live on Friday, a free evening of live music and entertainment.
  • In you’re willing to trek out to St. Francisville, Saturday will be the fifth annual Wags and Whiskers event, a carnival for the benefit of the West Feliciana Animal Humane Society. Yes, some animals will make appearances for you to ooh and ahh at.
  • Out in Baker Saturday afternoon, there are flat track motorcycle races with prices beginning at $5 for children. It’s sports-adjacent, so it makes the cut.
  • For a full calendar of events in and around Baton Rouge daily, click here.

Today in made-up holidays

According to the folks at, today is “National Talk In An Elevator Day.” No one likes being in elevators. It’s awkward and it’s cramped and it’s sweaty and it’s uncomfortable.

But if you get the chance to ride an elevator today, talk to someone. Make a friend. Or, just do what I do whenever I’m in an elevator: Think about the best saga of comedy television this decade. I’m of course referring to the season 4 episode of “Louie” titled “Elevator Parts 1-6.”

They’re the most genuine, hilarious, absurdist, heart-wrenching three hours of television I’ve ever watched. And I can’t endorse them any more highly. Here’s a taste.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns right here.