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LSU will play Outback Bowl without starting defensive tackle

[ 0 ] December 31, 2013 |

By GLENN GUILBEAU — Gannett Louisiana

BATON ROUGE – LSU starting defensive tackle Ego Ferguson, who was an honorable mention selection on the All-Southeastern Conference team by the Associated Press, has not made the trip to Tampa, Fla., for the Outback Bowl and will not play when the No. 14 Tigers meet Iowa at noon Wednesday on ESPN.

NOLA.com reported Tuesday that Ferguson had not made the trip and would not play for unknown reasons.

LSU starting defensive tackle Ego Ferguson was an honorable mention selection on the All-Southeastern Conference team by the Associated Press. (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

LSU starting defensive tackle Ego Ferguson was an honorable mention selection on the All-Southeastern Conference team by the Associated Press. (Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports)

“We are not making any comment about his (Ferguson’s) status for the game until kickoff,” LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette told Gannett Louisiana on Tuesday. Bonnette did not dispute the story.

Ferguson, a junior from Mims, Fla., who is 6-foot-3 and 309 pounds, started 12 games in the 2013 season for the Tigers (9-3). He made 58 tackles this season with 3.5 for losses, including one sack and three quarterback hurries, and he broke up three passes. Sophomore Quentin Thomas (6-3, 290) of Breaux Bridge is listed as Ferguson’s backup at defensive tackle. Thomas has played sparingly in 10 games this season and has two tackles on the season with two pass breakups, and he recovered a fumble against Alabama-Birmingham. Another backup defensive tackle is true freshman Christian LaCouture (6-5, 298) Lincoln, Neb. LaCouture has played in 12 games this season and has made 10 tackles with a sack against Mississippi State on Oct. 5.

LSU coach Les Miles was not available for comment after a press conference Tuesday morning at which no one asked him about Ferguson. All of LSU’s bowl practices have been closed here as they were in Baton Rouge.

Ferguson is expected to enter the 2014 NFL Draft a year early and could go as high as early in the second around, according to NFL Draft expert Mike Detillier.

“He is hot player right now,” Detillier said Tuesday.

Frequently in the weeks before bowl games, players are suspended for the bowl for not meeting academic requirements in the just-completed semester.

Ferguson is the fourth LSU player on the 2013 team to not join the Tigers in Tampa for reasons other than an injury. Sophomore safety Micah Eugene of Lafayette left the team after the regular season as did sophomore defensive back Jerqwinick Sandolph of Boutte and freshman cornerback Derrick Raymond of the New Orleans area.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

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