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LSU linebacker Micah Baskerville, center, celebrates with wide receivers Racey McMath, left, and Jontre Kirklin after scoring on a blocked punt recovery in the Tigers' 66-38 win over Vanderbilt on Sept. 21, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn.

LSU linebacker Micah Baskerville will not participate in spring football while focusing on academics, an LSU official confirmed Thursday.

Baskerville still remains on the team, and he is expected to return for the 2021 season.

The 6-foot-1, 231-pound junior was a key piece in LSU's defense in 2020, stepping into the starting lineup against South Carolina on Oct. 24.

Baskerville started in five games last season and was LSU's fourth-leading tackler with 55 total tackles and 4½ tackles for loss.

His role increased late in the season, when he started in five of the final six games in place of Damone Clark. Baskerville missed the Florida game Dec. 12, when he did not make the trip with the team to Gainesville.

LSU’s linebacker corps remains one of the key points of emphasis entering the spring under new defensive coordinator Daronte Jones, and when practice begins Tuesday, competition for starting jobs will increase.

Junior college transfer Navonteque Strong has expectations to play right away, and LSU also added touted Clemson transfer Mike Jones Jr. Both are expected to push Clark for starting roles.

LSU also signed four-star recruit Greg Penn III, the nation’s No. 13 linebacker of the 2021 class, according to 247Sports. Penn joins the young and more unproven talent in returning freshmen Josh White and Antoine Sampah.

Email Brooks Kubena at bkubena@theadvocate.com.