Bayou Bengal Briefing: When should LSU fans expect Arden Key to return?

LSU football is in the news every day, and  the Bayou Bengal Briefing is here to keep you updated with the latest headlines five mornings a week. Join us every Monday through Friday for the biggest news on Tigers football, recruiting, baseball and more. Enjoy!

Arden Key is back … for now

Preseason All-American and LSU’s single-season sack leader Arden Key returned to practice Wednesday night, lending some optimism to his status and when he might return. Though he was wearing a non-contact gold jersey, Key wasn’t wearing any visible brace on his surgically-repaired shoulder.

LSU coach Ed Orgeron and defensive coordinator Dave Aranda have both said they expect Key to miss the season opener against BYU. The Tigers have a plan in place to play without him, but they might not have to for very long.

LSU senior linebacker Donnie Alexander met with the media on Wednesday. He’s  another player rehabbing from offseason rotator cuff surgery, and Alexander — who had his surgery about a month before Key — said he’s noticed Key is recovering at the same pace he did.

Given that Alexander was ready for the first day of fall camp three weeks ago, it stands to reason that Key would be pretty close to that point right after the BYU game. Of course, LSU might not want to rush back its superstar, especially with millions of dollars on the line for Key and his future.

If that’s the case, the Week 2 game against Chattanooga and Week 3 against Syracuse are both distinct possibilities. Of course, this all hinges on Key’s rehab advancing at the same pace as Alexander’s. But since their rehabs are both being supervised by the same group of team doctors, it’s probably a similar process.

Your weekly LSU football poll recap

In the Bayou Bengal Briefing Wednesday, I asked you whether you approve of Orgeron’s decision to name Danny Etling his starting quarterback. More than 200 of you voted. Here is your overwhelming response.

In perhaps the biggest blowout result in Bayou Bengal Briefing poll history, 96 percent of you voted in the affirmative, backing Etling — or perhaps backing Orgeron. Either way, it’s a landslide victory.

Four percent of voters still chose dissent. Those are likely the hard-and-fast Myles Brennan supporters of the bunch, and that camp is going to exist. LSU’s quarterback could be a combination of John Elway, Joe Montana and Tom Brady and there would still be one guy clamoring for the freshman.

But it is good to know that the LSU fanbase is backing Etling.

Check back to the Bayou Bengal Briefing every week for more LSU football poll questions.

Speaking of Danny Etling…

Etling spoke to the media Wednesday, telling the story of how Orgeron gave him the good news and how he reacted.

Here’s some Etling news to catch you up on your new-old starting quarterback:

Special news

Ed Orgeron held his first radio call-in show of 2017 Wednesday night. It was a mostly uneventful hour of talking, but Orgeron did reveal one nugget about special teams: Donte Jackson will be the Tigers’ punt returner.

At face level, this makes sense. Jackson is thought by some to be the fastest man in college football, and his track speed makes him an elusive option fielding kicks. On top of that, he served admirably as the Tigers’ primary kick returner in 2016.

But Jackson isn’t the only fast player on LSU, and he’ll likely have been on the field for at least three plays before any punt, as his role as LSU’s No. 1 cornerback will still come first. Tre’Davious White balanced those responsibilities a year ago, so it’s not impossible. But we’ll see how long Jackson can juggle it, and if he can succeed in his second phase.

In former LSU coach news

No, we’re not talking about Les Miles this time.

Frank Wilson, the former LSU running backs coach and recruiting guru who is,\ now the head coach at Texas-San Antonio, received a notable extension Wednesday, becoming the highest paid coach in the Conference USA. Wilson was the mastermind credited with bringing such New Orleans talents as Leonard Fournette, Tyrann Mathieu and Odell Beckham Jr. to LSU.

Of all the former Miles assistants, Wilson seems to be the one most capable of standing out as a head coach on his own. Wilson’s recruiting acumen, combined with his leadership skills, lead UTSA to its first bowl appearance in school history in 2016, Wilson’s first year with the team.

Don’t miss it!

Have you forgotten that Alex Hickey and I do a weekly video show on this site called Sound Off? Well, you shouldn’t have, because our most recent video came out Wednesday. We discussed quarterbacks, position battles and Arden Key. All the good stuff. Here’s a link to that.

Also, have you forgotten that SEC Country has an LSU podcast? You shouldn’t have,  because there’s one every weekday now. Friend of the Bayou Bengal Briefing, Sam Spiegelman, shared his vocal talents in the most recent podcast to talk LSU recruiting. You can click on that here. 

Today in made-up holidays

According to the folks at, today is “ National Waffle Day.” So, embrace your inner Leslie Knope and love waffles. That is all.

Miss a previous edition of the Bayou Bengal Briefing? Find every one of SEC Country’s daily LSU football columns  right here.

The post Bayou Bengal Briefing: When should LSU fans expect Arden Key to return? appeared first on SEC Country.

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