Dig Baton Rouge

The Sports Troll: Arden Key back, just in time for the SEC

‘Ya think LSU’s defense has been good so far this year?

Now they’re about to get their best player back from an injury, which, of course, should make them even better.

The big news around LSU’s camp this week is the news that All-American defensive end Arden Key has been cleared to play in Saturday’s SEC opener against Mississippi State – the first action for Key since last season.

Key is a dominant edge pass rusher. He missed spring with a personal issue and then had surgery to heal the bum shoulder over the summer.

Coach Ed Orgeron said Key is not 100 percent healthy in terms of his conditioning, but he’s fully healed from the injury itself.

Orgeron said the dominant junior will start Saturday’s game against the Bulldogs, which should be an immediate boost for a Tigers defense that may or may not need it.

In the first two games of the season, LSU has allowed just 10 points and fewer than 400 yards of total offense – numbers which are near the top of the country.

And now, the rich get richer.

Key should make LSU more of a big play defense from the second he gets onto the field. Even if not back in tip-top shape yet, he still will demand tremendous amounts of attention from opposing defenses, which should free up space for others to make plays.

His return will also make LSU’s defensive line deeper, which will allow guys to be fresher at the end of games when the plays matter most.

The timing couldn’t come at a better time.

Mississippi State is easily the best team LSU will have faced to this point in the year. Saturday is also the first time LSU will have stepped outside of Louisiana for a game this season.

So welcome back, Arden. Now, it’s time to go to work and return to the dominant form that LSU fans have grown accustomed to.

The NFL scouts are watching.

It’s time to get that money.


Outside of the LSU football world, the biggest Tigers-related news of the day comes on the basketball hardwood where first-year coach Will Wade struck gold … again.

LSU basketball got a verbal commitment from five-star post player Naz Reid – the No. 15 player in the country in the Class of 2018.

Reid joins fellow five-star Ja’Vonte Smart in a 2018 recruiting class that is now projected to be one of the best in the country.

Folks, this is a big-time get.

Reid, 6-foot, 9-inches, 220 pounds, is a dominant power forward who is almost assuredly going to be a one-and-done prospect before going to the NBA.

Smart’s commitment wasn’t a giant surprise because he’s a Baton Rouge native, but Reid is from New Jersey, which, quite frankly, is not anywhere near LSU’s usual recruiting market.

But Wade isn’t the type of coach who takes no for an answer. When someone informs him of a barrier, he breaks it down, then conquers the land.

For him to be able to get big-time recruits who are thousands of miles away from LSU’s campus is unbelievable – especially considering that Wade has not yet coached a game as an LSU Tiger.

We say it every time, but this guy is a home run, folks.

He’s one that the Tigers would do well to keep around for a while.

Image: LSU Athletics


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