Shortstop Austin Nola announced Friday he will return to LSU for his senior year with the baseball squad.

Nola, the 31st round selection of the Toronto Blue Jays in last month’s MLB draft, said he will put his pro career on hold until after the Tigers’ 2012 season.

“Coming back for my senior year is just a great opportunity that I couldn’t pass up,” said Nola, a Baton Rouge native. “I’ve grown up following LSU, and having the chance to play baseball and go to school here has been an incredible experience.”

“Austin Nola epitomizes all that a student-athlete should be,” LSU coach Paul Mainieri said. “He’s one of the best shortstops in the country, he leads our community service efforts and he’s an outstanding student.”

Nola, a graduate of Catholic High School, is a three-year starter at shortstop who helped lead LSU to the 2009 College World Series title. Nola was named the MVP of the 2010 SEC tournament.