Eli Ricks won’t play for LSU again this year, as Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron announced Wednesday that the sophomore cornerback will be undergoing season-ending shoulder surgery. It’s a big loss for LSU’s defense.

However, make no mistake about it: Ricks plans on suiting up for the Tigers again in the future.

Ricks’ mother, Shauna, emphasized that point to The Athletic’s Brody Miller, stating that the family’s decision for Ricks to end his season now had nothing to do with LSU’s recent struggles. And she wanted to make it clear that Ricks isn’t leaving the program.

“This is not an opt out. This is not, ‘He’s gonna transfer,'” Shauna Ricks told Miller.

This isn’t the first time that Ricks has dealt with a shoulder injury, as he had surgery following his senior year at IMG Academy. It didn’t stop him from having an impressive debut season at LSU, as he earned second-team All-SEC honors as a true freshman, recording 4 interceptions and 2 touchdowns in 10 games in 2020.

This year, Ricks had 11 tackles, 2 pass deflections and 1 interception during the Tigers’ 3-3 start.

Once healthy, Ricks is likely to continue to make a positive impact on LSU’s secondary. But for now, the Tigers will be without a key player as they look to finish the season strong.

LSU is set to host No. 20 Florida on Saturday at noon ET on ESPN.

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