LSU has lost a third underclassman to the NFL draft.
Defensive end Danielle Hunter is bypassing his senior year and entering the draft, according to a message he posted on his Twitter account Friday afternoon.
Hunter, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound junior, might be the most highly rated of any of LSU’s top underclassmen. He’s projected as a second- or third-round pick. But one analyst, ESPN’s Todd McShay, recently said that Hunter should stay in school.
Hunter was third on the team in tackles with 73 and had a team-leading 13 tackles for loss. He had just 1.5 sacks.
Cornerback Jalen Collins and linebacker Kwon Alexander have announced their intentions to bypass their senior years for the NFL draft. They both received “stay-in-school” grades from the NFL draft advisory committee.
LSU has lost 20 underclassmen to the draft, counting three this year and 17 over the previous two years.
Offensive linemen Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins have not made a final decision on their futures, but the staff feels “optimistic” about keeping both linemen. Alexander received a “stay-in-school” grade, he said. Defensive Jalen Mills also has not announced his decision.
Hawkins and Mills have told those close to them that they plan to return, Yahoo Sports reported.
Hunter’s decision made headlines Monday. The news of his leaving was first reported by WBRZ that morning, citing a text message from Hunter. Hunter denied that report, according to team spokesman Michael Bonnette. A source on the LSU football team told The Advocate that Hunter planned to skip his senior year, but others on the team said he was still deciding.
That afternoon, fellow defensive end Jermauria Rasco posted a congratulatory message to Hunter on declaring for the draft on his Instagram.
Five set to enroll
Five underclassmen are scheduled to enroll in classes next week, players confirmed to The Advocate on Friday.
The list: Florida cornerback Kevin Toliver II, Texas quarterback Justin McMillan, Texas tight end Hanner Shipley, Mandeville fullback David Ducre and junior-college transfer Jeremy Cutrer, a cornerback.
Most of the group is expected to arrive and move in on Saturday. Classes at LSU start Wednesday.