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Orgeron Gives Updates on Roster, COVID Testing as Fall Practice Begins

College Football Playoff National Championship - Clemson v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

LSU head football coach Ed Orgeron met with local media via Zoom Tuesday one day after the Tigers opened fall camp.

Orgeron reiterated his confidence that the 2020 football season will be played despite the current COVID-19 situation.

“I am convinced that we’re going to play. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Orgeron said. “I’m not a doctor and it’s not my decision. But that’s what I think.”

Football players were tested for coronavirus before camp began Monday, and Orgeron said that “two to three” football players tested positive but they were asymptomatic. Orgeron did not identify the players that tested positive. Per the SEC, they must quarantine for 10 days from the test date and the symptoms need to be gone at least 24 hours before they can return to practice.

Orgeron then switched focus to on the field and had quite a bit of news to share. The biggest piece of news was that junior defensive end Justin Thomas has left the program. Thomas left the team last October for personal reasons after playing in only five games. Thomas returned to the program in the spring but has left once again and it sounds as though he will not be returning.

“Justin Thomas will not be with us,” O said. “He left the team and we wish him the best.”

Thomas is the third Tiger to leave the football program. Last week senior defensive tackle Neil Farrell opted out of playing this season, and on Monday senior defensive back Kary Vincent announced he was leaving the team to focus on the 2021 NFL Draft.

Orgeron also said that senior right tackle Austin Deculus was going to be out “for a little bit.” Sophomore Cameron Wire, true freshman Marcus Dumervil and redshirt freshman Charles Turner are splitting reps at right tackle in Deculus’ place, but Orgeron let it be known that Deculus is still LSU’s starter.

“Those guys they’re doing good,” Orgeron said. “Young guys that are doing well, filling in. Again, Austin’s going to be our starter. But those guys gotta be able to provide depth in the rotation. So this is good for us.”

Defensively, sophomore Cordale Flott appears to be the one LSU will lean on to replace Kary Vincent Jr. Orgeron said that Flott is currently LSU’s starting nickleback and may also be called upon to play on the outside. Coach O also said that redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin currently weighs 370 pounds and they are hoping he can drop some weight before the season starts September 26.