Nate Livings Cleared to Play By GLENN GUILBEAU Advocate sportswriter All clear. Nate Livings, the best high school linemen on either side of the football in Louisiana in 1999, will be in an LSU uniform next month. "There must be some kind of a Guiness Book of World Records record out there for him," LSU coach Nick Saban said jokingly last week. "He should qualify for signing three national letters at the same school." Livings, who is 6-foot-5 and 315 pounds, last played in a football game in the Class 4A state playoffs in 1999 for Washington-Marion High School in Lake Charles. He signed with LSU the following February and signed in the next two Februarys as well because he was unable to get academically eligible. The Livings family has been reluctant to discuss the three-year struggle toward eligibility, but it's over. Nate Livings and his family were unavailable for comment for this story. "He's been cleared by the NCAA Clearinghouse," Saban said. "He's ready." An NCAA Initial Eligibility Clearinghouse spokesman said his office can't comment on specific cases. Sam Nader, LSU's assistant athletic director for football operations, verified Livings' recent approval by the Clearinghouse. Livings, who graduated from Washington-Marion in 2000, took high school correspondence courses through LSU's independent study program to get eligible. Nader said Livings' grades in those courses were recorded on his high school transcript and sent to the Clearing-house, according to NCAA rules. "We think he has a bright future," Saban said. "He still has five years to play four." Livings' tri-signings are unusual, but they're not a record with Guiness or LSU. Melvin Richey, a defensive lineman from Decatur, Ga., signed with former LSU coach Gerry DiNardo in 1997, '98 and '99 before staying on the team briefly in '99. "Heck, we'd sign Nate again if we had to," Saban said. "We thought the year that we recruited him when he was coming out of high school that he was the best big guy in the state, the best lineman in the state on either side of the ball." Livings made 124 tackles with five sacks as the Chargin' Indians went 9-4 in 1999. SuperPrep magazine rated him the No. 2 offensive lineman in Louisiana. "He's got great size," Saban said. "He's very athletic. Obviously, when you sit out of playing football for two years, that's not going to be helpful in terms of your development as a player." Even with the layoff, Saban said Livings might have a chance to play. "We feel like he could be a guy that will be able to contribute early in his career," Saban said. The question now for LSU: Does he play offense or defense? "I would like to look at him on defense," Saban said. "But I think we feel really confident that he is an outstanding offensive tackle prospect. But he was good on both sides." Saban can't seem to make up his mind. "I would like to first eliminate that he can't play defense before we move him to offense," Saban said. "We might do what we've done with some other freshmen -- switch him back on offense and defense. Then when the varsity gets here, we'll pick one and go for it. End's the hardest place to play on defense, so we'll put him at end and then move him to tackle."