“If you listen to those guys talk, they put a priority on their team and education,” LSU coach Les Miles said of the decision made by Scott and Black. “This is a time when the decisions are made by the people who are affected the most. I can only tell you that it’s a very unselfish decision. Both men would have made quality livings in the NFL. Both men are postponing a good, high-paying career to be seniors at LSU, to get their degree and enjoy being part of a team. Players that guys who come back for their senior year, historically, have always had better years.
“They come back with a purpose: to make their senior year the best it can be and we are thrilled with their decision. It tells you that we will have good leadership and that the men that will wear the helmets for LSU will be guys who have been in the trenches, who have fought in the big games and who will bring great leadership."
Scott, a first-team All-Southeastern Conference selection at running back, ranked fourth in the league in rushing with 1,174 yards and 18 touchdowns during the 2008 season. For his career, Scott has rushed for 1,775 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Scott said he only has 30 hours remaining to get his college diploma and that he could graduate as early as December of 2009.
“I feel like for the past three years LSU has been my home,” Scott said. “I love this place and this university. The atmosphere is great. I love all the fans; it’s a great atmosphere all together. I feel like coming back for a fourth year is a good decision. I’m definitely coming back next year.
“I don’t think I could leave this place without graduating and missing out on my senior year in college. I think my team really needs me and Ciron (Black) and other seniors to come back and be great leaders for this team. I feel like we can really be great next year if we have leadership. I found out academically that I’m 30 hours away from graduating, so that was real big in my decision. I feel like if I have a degree and have options once I graduate, that would be better for me.”
Black, a three-year starter at left tackle for the Tigers, earned second-team all-conference honors for a second straight year in 2008. Black, who played a school-record 1,031 snaps from scrimmage in 2007, has started 40 straight games at left tackle for the Tigers.
In 2008, Black led the Tigers with 68 knockdowns and graded out at 85% or better nine times. He also played every offensive snap in eight games in 2008 and finished the year by playing a total of 884 snaps.
Black is scheduled to graduate from LSU in December of 2009.
“I did a lot of praying with my family and a lot of talking with my coaches and I came out with the conclusion that it would be really good for me to come back for my senior season,” Black said. “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made. I’m really close to graduating, which I really want to do. That was the first reason I came to school and Coach Miles told me over the years that we came to school to get a degree.
“I also have a lot more to do in college in terms of getting better on the field and also becoming more of a man and more of a leader for my team. We have s much potential for this team in the 2009 season and I can’t wait to get all of this out of the way so I can get prepared in the offseason and go to work like I really want to.”
Miles also confirmed on Wednesday that defensive tackle Ricky Jean-Francois has decided to forgo his senior season and make himself eligible for the NFL Draft. Francois, a Miami, native, recorded 20 tackles and two sacks in an injury-plagued 2008 season.
Miles also said that junior wide receiver Brandon LaFell is still weighing his options and has yet to make a decision on the NFL Draft. LaFell has until Thursday to declare for the NFL Draft.