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LSU defensive end Arden Key taking leave of absence from team

LSU defensive end Arden Key is taking a leave of absence from the team for personal reasons. Key led the Tigers with 12 sacks in 2016.

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) LSU head coach Ed Orgeron says Tigers defensive end and sack leader Arden Key is taking a leave of absence from the football program for unspecified personal reasons.

Orgeron says the decision was made in consultation with the coaching staff and Key's family.

The coach did not specify whether Key's absence from football would extend beyond spring practice and into the regular season next fall. Orgeron says the Tigers fully support Key's decision "and look forward to welcoming him back home to the Tiger family at the appropriate time."

Orgeron is also asking the public to respect Key's privacy.

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Last season, Key made a team-high 14 1/2 tackles for loss, including 12 sacks, and was in on 56 total tackles.