LSU edge rusher Sci Martin is "out" for spring, coach Ed Orgeron said, and junior Arden Key is "making progress" in his return.
Martin suffered an injury during the Tigers' first scrimmage at Tigers Stadium on March 18. Martin, a McDonogh 35 graduate, played in five games as a true freshman last season.
He spent the first week of spring practice rotating with Andre Anthony in replacing Key at the buck, a hybrid edge-rushing position in Dave Aranda's 3-4 defense. Martin's absence leaves Anthony and Ray Thornton, moved from F-linebacker to buck, in manning the spot.
D.J. Chark likes root beer.
Key is not participating in spring for what the team has called "personal reasons," and Isaiah Washington, also at buck, is academically ineligible for the rest of spring. Orgeron said Saturday that Key is on track to rejoin the team. He's expected to return over the summer, the coach said earlier this spring.
"He's making progress," Orgeron said.
LSU conducted its 10th practice of a 15-practice spring Saturday, scrimmaging in Tiger Stadium. It's been a bruising first half of spring ball.
Running back Derrius Guice and D.J. Chark have both twisted their ankles, but Guice has returned. Chark did not scrimmage Saturday, as he was "questionable," Orgeron said. Reserve tight end Jamal Pettigrew suffered an ankle injury, as well, Orgeron said earlier this spring.
Coaches hoped sophomore lineman Donavaughn Campbell would be at full strength for spring after December shoulder surgery, but he's been limited. Defensive lineman Christian LaCouture has been limited, too, with scar tissue in his surgically repaired knee.
Orgeron said Saturday that LaCouture has not scrimmaged this spring.
The Tigers are missing two projected starters on the offensive line, Toby Weathersby and Will Clapp, while both recover from shoulder procedures. Weathersby is expected to miss all of spring practice. Clapp returned in a limited role this week.
Danny Etling calls it his “pitcher’s mound,” and he wants it pointed at his target.
QB battle update
Senior Danny Etling remains LSU's first-team quarterback, but there's still a possibility that could change, Orgeron said.
"I think it’s still open now, and I don’t think anybody has taken the bull by the horns, to be honest with you," Orgeron said of the quarterback battle between Etling, third-year sophomore Justin McMillan, redshirt freshman Lindsey Scott and freshman Lowell Narcisse.
"They take two steps forward and one step back," he continued. "They’re still going to go into (preseason) camp and see what’s going on in camp. Obviously, Danny is the first-team quarterback. Nobody has beaten him out yet. That doesn’t mean that won’t happen."
Etling led all passers with 97 yards on 5-of-13 passing. McMillan threw for 62 yards on 5-of-7. Scott went 3-for-7 for 40 yards, and Narcisse was 1-for-2 for 5 yards.
"Justin McMillan has done some good things. Lindsey has done some good things," Orgeron said. "Lowell is still learning, but Lowell may be the most talented one of all of them. And obviously, we’re going to give Myles Brennan a chance. But we've still got a ways to go in that quarterback battle."
Guice led all rushers in Saturday's 90-play scrimmage, Orgeron said.
The Tigers split about 80 snaps between the first and second teams. Third-teamers got about 10 snaps, Orgeron said. Guice ran for 72 yards on nine carries, the coach said. Reporters are not allowed into scrimmages.
Stephen Sullivan led all receivers with 75 yards on three catches, and Drake Davis caught two passes for 62 yards, Orgeron said.