Basketball

‘This is not an opt-out’: Eli Ricks transfer rumors may be unfounded, but mounting injuries have LSU in trouble


BATON ROUGE, La. — The Ricks family has eight family members and friends flying out this week to see LSU play Florida. They were making a whole weekend out of it. They wanted Eli Ricks to play.

Shauna Ricks is saying this because she wants to put the rumors to rest. For a full year now, people have speculated about the intentions of her son. They wondered if he was leaving this past winter. They wondered about his status every time he missed practice this year.

And now the All-American LSU cornerback is out for the season due to a reaggravated shoulder injury that will require surgery. Again, there is speculation about what this means.

“Elias plays through pain,” Shauna told The Athletic. “This is not an opt-out. This is not, ‘He’s gonna transfer.’ He’s injured.”

The goal for the Ricks camp is to reassure people in Louisiana that the injury is not Eli quitting the season early or preparing to leave LSU. Eli has a history of shoulder issues, tearing his labrum toward the end of his junior season at Mater Dei High School in California. He didn’t tell anyone at the time so he could play through it. It was then misdiagnosed, and when it was finally diagnosed properly his senior year — then at IMG Academy — it was approached so he could play the entire season with the injured shoulder.

Eli had surgery to repair the shoulder after his senior year, enrolled early at LSU and went on to have an All-American freshman season with four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns.





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