On Thursday, the 2023 LSU Tigers took the field for their first spring practice. However, one significant veteran player was missing because of suspension.
The LSU Tigers were light at the running back position during their first spring practice of 2023. Injuries bear part of the blame, but the big news out of the backfield was a suspension. Unfortunately, lackluster academics has resulted in another suspension of John Emery Jr.
Brian Kelly reported the Emery news during his post-practice media session. The LSU Tigers head coach said he met with the Emery family regarding the running back’s grades. The meeting resulted in an agreement that it’s best for Emery to temporarily step away from football and solely focus on academics.
Calling Emery’s absence a ‘suspension’ is arguably harsh, but it is what it is. Either way, the 5th-year senior remains on the LSU Tigers’ official roster. However, some fans might assume Emery’s time playing football in Baton Rouge is over. Indeed, the history is unforavorable.
Emery was also suspended for academic reasons for LSU’s first pair of games in 2022. Such was an extension of his season-long suspension in 2021.
LSU Tigers fans are likely disappointed by the latest Emery news. A year ago, Kelly proclaimed the St. Rose, La. Native was in good academic standing. Such information made sense, considering Emery’s commitment to making positive changes in his personal life. Unfortunately, the running back’s academic issues have resurfaced.
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Emery decided to return to Baton Rouge for a 5th-year after considering the NFL Draft. One can assume the 5-11, 220-pound runner realized the opportunity to improve his draft stock with another college season. Emery ran for 370 yards on 76 carries in 2022 and averaged 3.21 yards per carry after contact.
Emery’s numbers aren’t sexy, but the highlights show glimpses of a player with the potential to be great. Moreover, NFL teams might favor Emery’s low mileage as a collegiate running back. Such is due to his suspensions and placement in a constant stable of LSU Tigers running backs.
Emery must get his grades up and get back on the field, or he’ll fall behind on the depth chart. His situation is one for fans to continue to monitor.