HOOVER, Ala. — Two major pieces on the LSU football team’s defensive front aren’t ready yet. But they’re getting there, according to LSU coach Ed Orgeron.
First, there’s superstar edge rusher Arden Key. Key set the LSU record in single-season sacks in 2016, but he missed all of spring ball in 2017 for undisclosed reasons and, upon returning, had shoulder surgery.
Orgeron doesn’t have an exact timetable for Key’s return, but he’s optimistic.
“We won’t know nothing for a while there,” Orgeron said Monday at 2017 SEC Media Days. “This is going to be a rehab that’s going to take some time. We don’t have a time limit on it, but as far as everything we’re hearing, it’s going to be fine. I don’t know when he’ll be back or what time he’ll be back. He will not be [ready for camp] for sure.”
This said, Orgeron said he doesn’t think the injury will keep Key on the sideline into the regular season.
“I don’t think it’s going to be that long,” Orgeron said. “I don’t think we can hold Arden that long. If he’s ready for the first game, he’ll be ready. But if he’s not, he’s not. I think it’ll be week-by-week.”
In addition to Key, Orgeron gave updates on incoming freshman nose tackle Tyler Shelvin. Orgeron lists Shelvin as the Tigers’ third-string defensive tackle behind returning contributors Greg Gilmore and Ed Alexander. But Shelvin hasn’t enrolled at LSU officially yet, as he’s still finishing his summer classes to academically qualify at LSU.
According to Orgeron, Shelvin’s progress is right on schedule, but he might not be ready for the first day of fall camp.
“His academics are on course,” Orgeron said. “But he is not going to be finishing his correspondence courses until the last week of July. That takes sometimes two or three days a week to become eligible through the clearinghouse. So it might take a week into training camp to when he’s ready.”
Still, Orgeron said Shelvin’s weight is down to 323 pounds, nearly 50 pounds below his playing weight from high school, and Orgeron says he checks on Shelvin at least once a week.
Stay posted to SEC Country throughout the week for more LSU football updates live from SEC Media Days.