LSU Player Interview Notebook

Beckham, Landry undecided on NFL (USA Today)

Several LSU players met with the media before and after practice Monday to give the latest on the Tigers. For everything on underclassmen declaring for the NFL, an injury update on Odell Beckham and the legacy of Zach Mettenberger, check out this player interview notebook.


BLUE, UNDERCLASSMEN UNDECIDED ON FUTURE

There may still be two games left this season, but that hasn't stopped many from looking ahead to who will and won't be with the team next season.

A large chunk of the focus Monday dealt with the NFL future of some of LSU's stars, including senior Alfred Blue, who recently received a fifth year or eligibility by the NCAA. Blue refuted a report that claimed he will forego that extra season and test the professional waters.

Blue said he will go through the Senior Day ceremony Friday in case he does opt to test the professional writers., but he was adamant that he has not made up his mind at this time.

"I'm going to sit down with my parents and my coaches [at the end of the season] and make the best decision for me," Blue said.

Blue, who's slated to graduate in the spring, did not rule out returning for that fifth season of eligibility. He's coming off one of his better games of the season, in which he ran for 61 yards on 13 carries. Blue admitted to struggling early in the season because of his lingering injury, but he did say that he's finally returning to full strength.

"There's a big difference [between now and the beginning of the season]," Blue said. "I know I said I felt like I was my old self in the beginning, but now it feels totally different. I really feel like I'm back to my old self…

"There's no risk to [coming back]," Blue continued. "I only could benefit from coming back. I'm feeling good now, come back another year with coach Cam, know the offense a little better and really have a breakout year again."


Fullback Connor Neighbors also received a fifth season of eligibility by the NCAA, and he said Monday that he will return for 2014.

Some of LSU's juniors weren't as definitive about their plans. Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham, La'el Collins, Anthony Johnson and Ego Ferguson all said they have not thought much about the possibility of leaving after this season.

The general consensus is that they'll complete the final two games of this season before assessing their options by year's end.

"Who knows?" Landry said. "For me right now, it's about sending these seniors off with a W. That's the most important thing for me personally."

Jeremy Hill, another player most consider an early departure candidate, did not meet with the media Monday.


Beckham suffered a back injury against Texas A&M (USA Today)
BECKHAM MISSES PRACTICE WITH BACK INJURY

Odell Beckham was held out of practice Monday to rest a back injury he sustained during Saturday's game.

Beckham missed a portion of the Texas A&M contest after getting hurt, but he did return to the field. Miles provided a colorful description of what's actually ailing his star receiver.

"I think there's a quality bruise back there," Miles said.

Beckham admitted he's never heard of a bruise described as "quality," but that some of the pain is definitely still present.

"My back was hurting pretty bad during that play and still up this point," Beckham said. "But I wouldn't describe it as quality…Hopefully it's not that long because I need to get back out there. Missing a day or two of practice sets you back a little bit."

TEAMMATES REFLECT ON METTENBERGER'S LEGACY

Sure, Zach Mettenberger's LSU career isn't finished. Fans still have two more opportunities to see him don the purple and gold. But many still wanted to get his take on what he'll remember most about his time in Baton Rouge.

Mettenberger wouldn't take the bait, brushing the attention off himself as he has many times throughout his career.

But there's no denying what kind of impact Mettenberger had in his three years at LSU. He's already started rewriting the LSU record books, and they'll certainly look much different once he's gone.

But the ever-modest Mettenberger didn't get caught up in the praise. His teammates didn't shy away from commenting though, and some had pretty heavy compliments for the LSU quarterback.


Odell Beckham: "He's probably one of the best quarterbacks to come through here in times of being physically tough. This is a guy who stands in there and takes lick after lick and stands right back up. He never stops fighting until the whistle. Maybe his win-loss record doesn't hold up to everyone else, and he never won a national championship, but I wouldn't have traded him for any other quarterback.

Jarvis Landry: "He's going to be considered one of the best. All he's done for this program in the last two years, he's going to be remembered as one of the best players to ever wear these colors."

Connor Neighbors: "Hopefully he'll be the best quarterback to ever come through here. Last year as a first-year starter, he had some troubles, but coming back he was molded into one of the best quarterbacks in the nation. I think that's what everyone's going to say, that he was one of the best…

"A lesser man would just quit [after what he's been through]. He's had criticism over the years, and being one of his best friends, it hasn't always been smiles. For him to come back and show the real person he is, it shows his personality. He plays with a lot of emotion."

JARVIS LANDRY'S A ROCK STAR

The CBS cameras caught an interesting touchdown celebration from Jarvis Landry during Saturday's game against Texas A&M. After he reached paydirt, Landry took a couple strums of his air guitar then smashed the imaginary instrument like the rock and roll legends that preceded him.

"It was just one of those things," Landry said. "I've been playing Guitar Hero a little bit, and I was just in the mood, so I did it."

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