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LSU head coach Ed Orgeron addresses the media during the Citrus Bowl head coach press conference, Sunday, December 31, 2017, at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Fla.

KJ Malone is ready to go.

Malone, LSU's senior left tackle, will start Monday’s Citrus Bowl against Notre Dame, LSU coach Ed Orgeron announced Sunday during a news conference.

KJ Malone

KJ Malone on crutches a week after his injury in October. 

It will be Malone's first playing time since he injured the patellar tendon in his left knee in the first quarter of the win Oct. 7 at Florida. He returned to that game for one drive in the second half before pulling himself because of the aching tendon, which connects the lower leg bone with the kneecap.

“He’s fine, ready to play,” Orgeron said. “He’s practiced all week and should be fine.”

Malone’s addition bolsters an offensive line that featured two true freshmen starters since his injury. Saahdiq Charles replaced Malone at left tackle, and Ed Ingram has started 11 games this season at right guard.

FG job undecided

Orgeron has not decided on a starting field goal kicker for the Citrus Bowl, he said Sunday.

Redshirt freshman Connor Culp and sophomore Jack Gonsoulin have split field goal kicking duties this season, with Orgeron alternating a pair of players who have combined to miss nine of 24 field goal attempts this season.

“We don’t know who are field goal kicker is,” Orgeron said. “We haven’t made that decision yet. There’s a lot of question marks for us and our special teams.”

Orgeron has spent much of the season lamenting his field goal kickers and even at one point claiming the team doesn’t have a kicker at all. He signed a Division II transfer kicker, Cole Tracy, during the early signing period in December.

Culp made eight straight field goals before missing two extra-points and a 32-yard attempt against Arkansas in Game 10. Gonsoulin began the season as the starter but missed kicks of 34 and 40 yards in his first four attempts.

No regrets

This time last year, defensive end Christian LaCouture had a huge decision to make: return to college as a fifth-year senior or make himself available for the NFL draft.

LaCouture, of course, decided to remain a Tiger. He believes he’s actually enhanced his stock for the 2018 draft compared to if he’d come out in 2017.

“I really do. I’m very grateful,” he said, referring to his coaches and teammates for helping make him a better player.

LaCouture certainly helped himself. He’s second on the team with 63 tackles, and his six sacks are just a half-sack off Greg Gilmore’s team lead.

“It’s been great. No doubt about it,” LaCouture said. “I’m very excited about my future.”

LSU’s dynamic defensive duo

Two Tigers are on pace to become the first players from the same school in nearly a quarter century to lead the Southeastern Conference tackles and interceptions.

Sophomore linebacker Devin White leads the SEC with 127 tackles, while redshirt freshman cornerback Greedy Williams tops the conference with five interceptions. The last time players from the same team led the SEC in those categories was 1993, when Abdul Jackson and Alundis Brice from Ole Miss had 140 tackles and seven interceptions, respectively.

Notre Dame famous alumni

You know the famous Joes who played football for Notre Dame: Joe Montana and Joe Theismann. But did you know these famous folks were Notre Dame alumni as well?

• Notre Dame football radio announcer and former NBC sportscaster Don Criqui

• Former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Former

• LSU coach and current Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo

• ESPN personality and former Irish football player Mike Golic

• Late Louisiana attorney and political advisor Camille Gravel

• Late television producer and New Orleans native Don Ohlmeyer

• Former Minnesota Vikings player and retired Minnesota Supreme Court judge Alan Page

• Television personality Regis Philbin

• Chicago Bears CEO Ted Phillips

• Former Secretary of State and CFP selection committee member Condoleezza Rice

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.