LSU LB Michael Divinity leaves team days before Alabama game

Alabama week has not gotten off to a good start for LSU.

After multiple reports emerged earlier Monday, Tigers coach Ed Orgeron confirmed during his weekly press conference that linebacker Michael Divinity is no longer a member of the team.

The Athletic, which first reported the news, says the senior’s departure from the program is a disciplinary measure. Orgeron told reporters that Divinity left the team for “personal reasons.”

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The linebacker later posted a message on his Instagram account:

I am taking some time off to focus on a personal matter and just wanted to say thank you to my coaches, teammates, and the entire LSU community for your continued help and support. I am sorry I can't be on the field for you guys. My goal is to get myself back to 100% in time to graduate in December and be back on the field fighting with my brothers soon.

This is an incredibly difficult time for me, and it means so much to me that so many people have reached out--knowing you all have my back will make the next short while a lot easier. Thank you all. I got this, I promise you.

It’s a tough loss for LSU. Divinity is in his second season starting at outside linebacker for the top-ranked Tigers, who will travel to Tuscaloosa to play No. 2 Alabama in the biggest game of the season on Saturday.

Divinity missed three games earlier this season with what the program said was a “coach’s decision.” He returned to action earlier this month and most recently had five tackles, one tackle for loss and a sack in the team’s win over Auburn on Oct. 26. Divinity began the season playing inside, but transitioned back to an outside spot with Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen starting on the inside for LSU’s 3-4 scheme.

LSU linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. has been removed from the team days before the Alabama game. (AP)
LSU linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. has been removed from the team days before the Alabama game. (AP)

Overall in his LSU career, Divinity has compiled 104 tackles, 17 tackles for loss and eight sacks in 29 games. He emerged as one of the team’s most consistent performers in 2018 when he totaled 54 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. Divinity joins lineman Justin Thomas as defensive contributors to leave the team in recent weeks. Thomas, a junior, left the team for what Ed Orgeron said last week were “personal reasons.”

With Divinity out of the picture, Orgeron pointed to juniors Andre Anthony and Ray Thornton as candidates to see additional time opposite K’Lavon Chaisson on the outside.

With the Alabama game just five days away, it’s a tough time in the season for the Tigers to have to make adjustments. There was positive news to come out of Orgeron’s press conference, however. He said that star safety Grant Delpit is expected to play against the Crimson Tide. Delpit was injured against Auburn and did not practice during LSU’s bye week.

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