Devin White penned a final goodbye to Baton Rouge and the Tigers fanbase in a letter published by the LSU athletics department on Tuesday.

White, a projected first round NFL draft pick by most experts, announced Monday he was forgoing his final season of collegiate eligibility to turn pro.

In his farewell letter, White said the choice to leave LSU was the hardest decision he's made and that he intended to return to the program prior to the Tigers win over UCF in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day.

"Going into the bowl game, there was no doubt in my mind that I was coming back to school for my senior season which is why not playing in the bowl game never crossed my mind," White wrote.

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White went on to say in the letter that after further evaluation, prayer and guidance from those close to him he decided to turn pro.

He also thanked the LSU community for their help in his development both in football and life.

"I am forever grateful for the village that rallied around me during some of my greatest victories and most painful defeats," he wrote. "Through them, I realized my biggest inspiration, which is giving the youth back home hope of helping them exceed expectations that people and society have placed on them. The friendships and bonds that have been made with my people at home will forever remain with me long after I am done playing football."

On Monday, White said he would continue to pursue his bachelor's degree so that he would become the first person in his family to graduate from a Division I university.

Some mock drafts list White as high as a top 10 pick, which could yield a salary of at least $15 million and signing bonuses of at least $10 million.

White has established himself as one of the greatest linebackers in LSU history, joining former players from Mike Anderson to Michael Brooks to Bradie James in the pantheon of top-level defenders. 

He's the only player in LSU history to win the Butkus Award.


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White's full letter can be read here.

Reporting by Brooks Kubena contributed to this story.