LSU junior defensive end Danielle Hunter looks to be bound for the NFL draft.
Hunter’s teammate, senior Jermauria Rasco, wished him congratulations for declaring for the draft in a post on Instagram on Monday afternoon. A team spokesman confirmed the account belongs to Rasco.
Hunter’s decision — stay or go — made headlines throughout the day. The news of Hunter leaving was first reported by WBRZ on Monday morning, citing a text message from Hunter. Hunter denied that report, according to team spokesman Michael Bonnette.
“He’s still deciding,” one player close to Hunter told The Advocate on Monday morning.
Hunter, a 6-foot-6, 240-pounder from Texas, might be the most highly rated of any of LSU’s top underclassmen. He’s projected as a second- or third-round pick in many mock drafts. Hunter did not want to speak about his decision when asked a couple of weeks ago.
A report over the weekend from Yahoo Sports said Hunter was struggling with his decision and that he was leaning toward returning. 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 both 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.
Players have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft.
Offensive linemen Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins have not made a final decision on their future, but the school feels “optimistic” about keeping both linemen. Alexander received a “stay in school” grade, he said. Receiver Travin Dural, a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore, has said he plans to return to LSU.
Kwon Alexander, according to Yahoo Sports, has hired agent Zeke Sandhu for representation. Sandhu also represents Odell Beckham Jr.
Mills could enter draft despite legal trouble
Defensive back Jalen Mills could enter the NFL draft despite his legal troubles.
Mills pleaded not guilty in October to a misdemeanor simple battery charge for allegedly punching a woman over the summer at his apartment complex. His next court date is Jan. 27, a status hearing.
Mills has told teammates that he plans to enter the NFL draft, a source on the team said, but he has not made an announcement.
Mills’ legal troubles aren’t likely to keep him from traveling to train out of state, to the NFL combine or to the NFL draft in the spring. Mills’ attorney would likely file a written motion requesting him to be allowed to cross state lines for work, East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore said.
Moore said judges normally grant such requests. Moore said a trial date for the Mills case could be set at the status hearing.
LSU coach Les Miles has met with more, if not all, of the underclassmen over the past few days.
Mills started at safety this season with senior Ronald Martin after moving from his cornerback spot late last season. He played cornerback as a freshman in 2012, starting all 12 games.
Freshman defensive linemen won’t be charged
Freshman defensive linemen Trey Lealaimatafao and Davon Godchaux have completed pretrial diversion classes and will not be formally charged with crimes for incidents in July, Moore said Monday.
Over the summer, Lealaimatafao was accused of stealing a bicycle outside LSU’s Middleton Library, and Godchaux was accused of tossing firecrackers into a campus apartment. Godchaux was charged with criminal mischief, and Lealaimatafao was charged with a misdemeanor.
They will not be charged and can now have the arrests expunged if they choose to file the necessary paperwork. Pretrial diversion is a program for first-time offenders. It involves counseling sessions and classes.
Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv.