The LSU Tigers have been hit hard by underclassmen leaving the team early in pursuit of their NFL dreams. Most recently, four Tigers players have announced their decision to enter the 2013 NFL Draft. The players forgoing their final years of college eligibility are linebacker Kevin Minter, defensive back Tharold Simon, running back Spencer Ware and punter Brad Wing.
All players have released statements regarding their decisions.
“It’s been an honor to play at LSU under Coach Les Miles and Coach (defensive coordinator John) Chavis,” Minter said, via the Times-Picayune. “They helped me get where I am now. I’ll always bleed purple and gold. I was surprised at how fast it happened this year. I always knew I had the potential.”
Minter has already hired an agent along with Simon.
“I have loved every minute of being a LSU Tiger, and my heart will always remain at this incredible institution that taught me so much about being an athlete, student and person,” Simon said. “I truly hope that I will be lucky enough to make an NFL roster and do LSU proud.”
Ware made the decision to leave LSU’s crowded backfield in hopes of finding more touches once he establishes himself at the next level.
“I feel confident that I am ready to go to the next level and I look forward to working hard in preparation for this next chapter in my life,” Ware said in a statement. “I want to thank everyone at LSU for all they have done for me over the last three years. I especially want to thank Coach Miles and his staff for helping me to develop on the field, and mature as both a player and a person. I also want to thank my teammates for all the support they’ve given me.
“I will forever where purple and gold as a badge of honor and I wish continued prosperity and success to the Tiger Nation.”
Finally, punter Brad Wing announced his news via Twitter.
Can’t express enough love for Tiger Nation. Thank you for making these 3 years so amazing. Love to the fans, my teammates and coaches. #LSU
— Brad Wing (@bwing38) January 4, 2013
There will surely be more Tigers underclassmen to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft — most notably the talented defensive ends — but for now these are the only Tigers players who have come forward.