LSU Star Arden Key Will Take Time Away from Team for Personal Reasons

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2017

BATON ROUGE, LA - OCTOBER 22:  Arden Key #49 of the LSU Tigers defends during a game against the Mississippi Rebels at Tiger Stadium on October 22, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The LSU Tigers football team will be without star defensive end Arden Key for the foreseeable future as he takes time away for undisclosed personal reasons.  

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron announced Key's decision in a statement released on Wednesday, per Michael Bonnette of

"In consultation with our staff and his family, [Key] has decided to take some time away from football for personal reasons," Orgeron said. "We fully support Arden in his decision and look forward to welcoming him back home to the Tiger family at the appropriate time.”

Key's father, Arden Key Sr., told Ross Dellenger of The Advocate "his son was 'fine' and healthy."

A junior heading into the 2017 season, Key was a breakout star in the SEC last year. He led LSU with 12.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks. 

There have been lofty expectations for Key heading into next season.

Gordon McGuinness of Pro Football Focus named the LSU star as the SEC's best returning player, noting with the departures of standout defenders like Myles Garrett, Derek Barnett and Jonathan Allen that Key is "in prime position to take over as the best defender in the SEC in 2017."

LSU is coming off an 8-4 record in 2016. Orgeron was hired as the Tigers' full-time head coach in November after taking over for Les Miles on an interim basis in September. 

Key will still be listed as a member of LSU's football team if/when he decides to return.