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|Ridley looking forward to 2009 season|
Stevan Ridley is no longer the new kid on the block.
But he knows being a sophomore running back at LSU, the competition is always going to be there.
"I've finally go some competition behind me, but you always have to show what you can do," Ridley said. "The coaches know the potential is there."
Ridley said he hears talk about playing the fullback position, but has never taken a snap at that position.
"I'm getting snaps with Charles Scott, Keiland Williams and Richard Murphy," he said. "But if the coaches ever saw fit for me to play in that position, I would be more than willing to do that."
Ridley is recovering surgery from an ACL tear on his right knee, suffered on the second spring practice in March.
"I would say my knee is about 92 percent," Ridley said. "Life throws you things and it challenges you more than anything. I was down about it at first, but it was a matter of I could give up and roll over or turn it around. And I chose to turn it around and do everything my trainers were telling me to do"
Ridley said he has had no problems during the summer workouts.
"It felt great doing weightlifting and running, but once you get on the field, that's when it matters. For me to get out there run and cut and take some contact, it really felt great."Ridley was glad to get back on the field for fall drills. "(Sophomore defensive back) Derrick Bryant came down one time and really gave it to me.," Ridley said. "That's part of it. You've got to get up and keep going. If it was up to me, we'd have gone head up the next play. Ridley played in 13 games as a true freshman after a stellar career at Trinity Episcopal, where he was considered one of the top athletes in state. Ridley saw action in both the backfield and on special teams. He rushed for 98 yards on 12 carries and recorded 15 tackles on special teams and had the best game of short career against Tulane with a career-high 51 yards on five carries.
Ridley scored his first career touchdown on a 2-yard run against Tulane.
Ridley had 17 rushing yards in LSU's season-opener against Appalachian State last year on two carries. He followed that up a week later with 24 yards on five rushes in the win over North Texas.
Ridley had at least two special teams tackles in five games, including a career-best three against North Texas. He also had two special teams tackles against Auburn, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Troy.
"The trainers told me to take it easy at first and not practice special teams," Ridley said. "But when the season-opener gets here, I'll be ready to roll. "That's one of the rare times where you get to run full speed and take somebody out, I love making the big play and getting the crowd excited. Me and Ryan Baker had a bet going last year on every kickoff as to who would get down there first and who would make the first tackle.
"A lot of teams don't put as much work into it as we do," Ridley said. "The young players love to be on it to show what they can do and make an impression on the coaches."
Ridley said the game of football is a learning process.
"I'm still learning and I'm still having fun," he said. "That's what football is all about. It's a competition with your opponent and competition with your teammates over who is going to get the next big hit."
LSU finished 8-5 last season.
"Last year was a poor season," Ridley said. "There are a lot of people sleeping on us this year and that's not acceptable at LSU. We're going to turn it around. I'm every excited about the year. Our defense is flying around all over the place. And we'll be better on offense."
Sophomore Jordan Jefferson, a close friend of Ridley's, was MVP in LSU's win over Georgia Tech in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
"Jordan is a cool guy, on and off the field," Ridley said. "Jarrett (Lee) is our pro style quarterback. He struggled some last year, but people have to realize he was a freshman and that was a really big job to put on his shoulders. We've got another Mississippi guy in Chris Garrett coming in and Russell Sheppard. We've got some excitement at the quarterback position. I'm excited about the entire team and upcoming season."
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