Nose tackle Tyler Shelvin will enroll at LSU next week, but he won’t be eligible to play in 2017, his high school coach said Friday.
The NCAA at least partially denied Shelvin’s eligibility for this season, and the highly decorated nose tackle from Lafayette will use what coach Lewis Cook called an “academic redshirt” in 2017. He will be on scholarship and can practice with the team but cannot play in any games, said Cook, the longtime coach at Notre Dame in Crowley.
An LSU spokesman declined comment Friday night.
The NCAA denied Shelvin’s status several days ago, and the governing body shot down the school’s appeal this morning, Cook said. Cook was not completely sure why the NCAA denied Shelvin, a 6-foot-2, 380-pounder ranked the No. 1 player in the state in the 2017 class.
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Players are granted eligibility based upon a scale measuring GPA and ACT scores. Shelvin completed correspondence courses over the summer to raise his GPA, Cook said. The coursework was completed about three weeks ago and sent to the NCAA clearinghouse.
Shelvin has opted not to take the junior-college route, Cook said, despite several schools showing interest.
“It would have been a stretch to have him to play this year with not having the summer (with the team),” Cook said. “Looks like he’ll be there and have a year to get things straight.”
Shelvin is a key member to LSU’s seventh-ranked 2017 signing class, and coach Ed Orgeron was hoping to use his size inside in a rotating role at nose tackle this year. LSU has just two nose tackles on its roster: senior starter Greg Gilmore and sophomore Ed Alexander.
Several others can play the position, including senior Christian LaCouture.
The Tigers end their three-week camp with a scrimmage Saturday. School begins Monday.
Shelvin is far from the first player to take this course of partial eligibility. Nose tackle Travonte Valentine, initially a 2014 signee with the Tigers, did this in the fall of 2014. He practiced with LSU but could not play in games. Valentine was dismissed from the team in the summer of 2015 and then returned last fall. He was again dismissed after the 2016 season.
Jonathan Rucker is no longer a walk-on. Neither is Caleb Lewis.