Photos: Alabama defeats LSU in OT _lowres

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU linebacker Kwon Alexander (4) dives to make the sack stop on Alabama quarterback Blake Sims (6) for a loss during the first half Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014 in Baton Rouge.

The first of LSU’s underclassmen has declared for the NFL draft.

Junior linebacker Kwon Alexander will enter the draft, he announced on Twitter on Wednesday.

Alexander, a 6-foot-2, 227-pounder from Alabama, was LSU’s leading tackler this season, finishing with 90 tackles. He was seen, along with junior cornerback Jalen Collins, as a lean toward leaving early.

Alexander thanked LSU coaches, fans and teammates in his tweet and said a decision was made after “careful thought.” Alexander cannot be found in most NFL draft projections, mostly because of his uncertain status as an underclassman.

Collins said earlier this week that he was “on the fence” about a decision to return. He received a “stay in school grade” from the NFL draft Advisory Committee, along with left guard Vadal Alexander. A maximum of five LSU players requested grades. Collins and Vadal Alexander were the only two to reveal their grades. Kwon Alexander did not show at the team’s final media availability before the 31-28 loss to Notre Dame in the Music City Bowl.

His announcement via Twitter came about an hour after defensive coordinator John Chavis left for the same position at Texas A&M.

Kwon Alexander later tweeted, “I want to thank Coach Chavis for everything too !! Couldn’t of did it without him!! Best coach ever !!”

Zaire’s feet hurt

Defensive tackle Christian LaCouture said he’ll have to wait until viewing game film of the bowl loss to Notre Dame before determining a reason for the defensive woes.

Chavis doesn’t need to watch film: LSU didn’t stay in its rushing lanes and was thus exposed by dual-threat quarterback Malik Zaire.

“We didn’t fill our lanes when we needed to and gave them the running lane,” Chavis said. “That hurt us as much as anything. We didn’t stay in our lanes.”

At one point, Notre Dame was 8-of-10 on third downs, many via Zaire’s legs.

“When we did have good pressure, we created some lanes and let them run,” Chavis said. “They had opportunities to run for first downs. Those are the ones that hurt the most. Sometimes when you’re playing man-to-man, when you’re playing against good receivers, sometimes they’re going to win a few. You live with those.”

Cameron sees bright future

Offensive coordinator Cam Cameron described LSU’s season offensively as “up and down,” but he’s optimistic about the future.

“Future is extremely bright offensively,” Cameron said after Tuesday’s game. “This one hurts. We’re not going to minimize this at all. At the same point, we’re going to regroup with these guys, take a couple of weeks off, hit the recruiting trail.”

Miles called the future “bright.”

“We’re in position with the team that returns … very sophomore and freshman heavy. We will be a very, very good football team. This is a very talented group of guys,” he said.

Not far from 10

A few “breaks,” and LSU would have had hit the double-digit win mark for a fifth straight season, LSU special teams coordinator Bradley Dale Peveto said after the game Tuesday.

“A break here or there, this team’s easily a 10-win football team,” said Peveto, who completed his first year with the Tigers in his second stint in Baton Rouge. “I’m proud of them. They battled, fought and scratched. We had a lot of guys grow up and grew as a football team. I really couldn’t be prouder.

“I know we didn’t win tonight, but one game doesn’t define your season. I’m proud of the way guys battled.”

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter @DellengerAdv