LSU's Ridley cleared to play in Cotton Bowl

LSU and Stevan Ridley got the news they were hoping for this week.

Ridley, the Tigers' leading rusher, was cleared by the NCAA to play in Friday's AT&T Cotton Bowl game against Texas A&M.

Ridley had been ruled ineligible because of an academic dishonesty issue, but LSU appealed on Ridley's behalf. The news came down Monday that Ridley's eligibility had been restored for the bowl game and that he wouldn't face any sanctions during the 2011 season.

Getting Ridley back is a huge coup for the Tigers, who struggled all season on offense. In fact, Ridley was the only real constant on offense for LSU, which finished 11th in the SEC in total offense. He rushed for 1,042 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Even though he was ruled ineligible during the pre-Christmas practices, he has continued to practice with the Tigers and should be ready to go in the bowl game.