Defensive end Lewis Neal is returning to LSU for his senior year.
Neal, one of a few draft-eligible juniors deciding on their future, passed on entering the NFL draft and will remain in school, he announced on Twitter on Thursday.
“I value my education and the commitment to success and the great fans of Louisiana State University,” Neal wrote in the post on Twitter. “After evaluating and considering entering my name for the 2016 NFL Draft, I have decided to return to LSU for my Senior year to continue my education and continue to do my best for LSU Football to help compete and win a Championship in 2016.”
Neal, a North Carolina native who led the team in sacks this season, was one of at least six draft-eligible LSU players mulling decisions to enter the draft. He’s the fourth of the group to make an announcement.
Left tackle Jerald Hawkins is the only one to announce his decision to leave for the draft. Center Ethan Pocic and defensive tackle Christian LaCouture both announced their intentions to stay.
Linebacker Kendell Beckwith and cornerback Tre’Davious White, projected as second-round draft picks, have not made their decisions, their parents say. Underclassmen must declare by Monday.
White’s father, David, told The Advocate on Thursday morning that his son had not made a decision. Beckwith’s mother, Uhronda, said Monday that her son had not made a decision.
Neal started every game this season, despite playing with an injured ankle over the final month. His eight sacks led all players. Neal is listed as the ninth-best defensive end in the 2017 class, according to CBSSports.com.