Linebacker Clifton Garrett has left LSU, the school announced Friday.
Garrett intends to enroll at junior college, though he's still in the process of finding a landing place. His transfer comes as a result of struggles both on the field and in the classroom.
Garrett was a former five-star linebacker ranked No. 1 nationally at his position. He was one of two linebackers signed in the 2014 class and a key part of the Tigers' No. 2 ranked class. But Garrett failed to have a significant impact in his freshman season.
Garrett's problems started before he arrived. He barely qualified coming out of high school, nearly having to enroll then at a junior college. He did make it to campus in the summer of 2014, but LSU coach Les Miles commented regularly on the Chicago native's inability to adapt to the Louisiana heat.
That stunted his development, and Garrett appeared in only three games in 2014, mostly on special teams and did not record any statistics.
He had higher expectations for his sophomore season. He had a chance to solidify himself as the backup at middle linebacker to Kendell Beckwith. But Garrett barely appeared in the spring game in April, only playing in a handful of snaps. Miles commented after the game he didn't know why Garrett didn't see the field more, but with the latest news, that's become a bit more clear.
Garrett has continued to struggle in the classroom since arriving at LSU, and his performance on the practice field has left more to be desired. He's now left Baton Rouge and will not return.
LSU's linebacker corps was already thin before Garrett's departure. Senior Ronnie Feist will now likely be the backup to Beckwith in the middle, but there will be significant turnover after the 2015 season.
Two of the three projected starting linebackers — Deion Jones and Lamar Louis — are seniors. Beckwith will also be eligible for the NFL Draft after this season.
The Tigers failed to sign a linebacker in the 2015 class, so it was already going to be a major position of focus in 2016. New linebacker coach Kevin Steele has his work cut out for him on the recruiting trail as now has even more holes to fill at the position.
5-star Clifton Garrett transfers from LSU
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