You could make the case that Arden Key had the most disappointing season in the SEC in 2017.

Coming off a season in which he broke the LSU school record with 12 sacks in 2016, his junior season was hindered early due to off the field issues that resulted in a leave from the football program. Adding further complication to his final season in Baton Rouge, Key had to deal with an offseason shoulder surgery.

Key didn’t give any interviews in his final season at LSU, but now that he’s prepping for the upcoming NFL Draft, Key opened up a bit on what went wrong for him last season. According to Chase Goodbread of, the old Key is returning to form.

“The junior Arden Key doesn’t exist anymore,” Key said recently. “He’s gone.”

The pass rusher then attempted to explain what went wrong for him in 2017. While he flashed for brief moments for the Tigers, Key simply wasn’t the player he was in 2018. So what happened?

“I got too heavy. I got to 270, 280 (pounds) at one point, then with injuries, I rushed to come back. I wasn’t ready to come back,” Key continued. “It was just competitiveness in me that came out.”

While acknowledging he didn’t have a season up to his lofty standard, Key noted the team around him progressed thanks to the attention opposing offenses gave him. He also explained that his diet has dramatically changed since this time last year thanks to his training staff in Arizona that is helping him prepare for the draft.

“They’ve taken the sugar out of my diet. And with everything else, there’s less salt, less seasoning,” Key said. “I’ve had to give up fast food, no more candy.”

If that’s all it takes to get him back to his 2016 form, the sacrifice will be worth it. Key stands to gain millions of dollars if he can prove he’s healthy and he can stay away from the sweets for just a few more months.