LSU’s nose tackle position is thinning out.
Coach Ed Orgeron confirmed Saturday that nose tackle signee Tyler Shelvin will not be eligible to play this season, and he also revealed that backup nose tackle Ed Alexander has been limited with injury and is out of condition.
The NCAA only partially granted Shelvin’s eligibility, allowing him to practice and be on scholarship but not play in games, something The Advocate reported Friday. A key member to the Tigers’ 2017 signing class, Shelvin was expected to potentially contribute in a rotation at that position this year, Orgeron said over the summer.
The coach is left with starter Greg Gilmore and Alexander, who has missed several practices while “battling some injuries” and is “a little overweight right now,” the coach said.
“That kind of puts Greg ahead of him,” Orgeron said. “Ed is a tremendous football player. As soon as we can get him in the condition we want and completely healthy, he can be a dominant player.”
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Coaches have discussed moving another defensive lineman to the nose tackle position to help depth. No decision was made, but several players could slide from defensive end to nose, including Christian LaCouture, who played the nose position in the past.
“We’re heavy at end, so if we have to move somebody in emergency, I think we could,” Orgeron said.
Key to see 'his' doctor
Arden Key, the All-American edge rusher who’s recovering from shoulder surgery, is visiting his own doctor next week to gauge his progress and determine his playing status, Orgeron said.
Key has been practicing during camp in a limited role, not able yet to have contact because of the shoulder, which was operated on in late May. The coach said earlier this week that he doesn’t expect Key to play in the season opener against BYU. That final decision could come from Key’s personal doctor.
“We’ve got guys that see other doctors and do the things they need to do. We OK’ed it with our guys,” Orgeron said when asked about Key visiting a doctor not affiliated with the school.
“He’s going to see his doctor next week. Our doctors are going to talk and they’re going to make a decision and they’ll let me know when he’s going to go.”
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Kicker battle rages
Connor Culp hit a 53-yard field goal in Saturday’s scrimmage, but Orgeron did not disclose any other kicking stats and says the place-kicking competition is on-going.
Culp and walk-on Jack Gonsoulin are battling to start. Several special teams starting spots will be determined after coaches review film of Saturday’s scrimmage, Orgeron said. That could include the kicker battle.
“We’re going to watch the tape and make some decisions at who’s going to start for us on special teams, each position,” the coach said.
Longtime NFL assistant Jerry Sullivan, hired this summer as a consultant to work with LSU receivers coach Mickey Joseph, completed his tenure with the team Saturday, Orgeron said. He was hired for camp only. … Receiver Dee Anderson and running back Lanard Fournette remain injured, Orgeron said.