Plethora of Tigers declare for NFL Draft
BATON ROUGE – The Jan. 15 deadline for eligible football players to declare for the NFL Draft is still not till Tuesday, but within the past week, the LSU football program has lost the equivalent of nearly an entire side of the ball.
Defensive lineman Barkevious Mingo, Sam Montgomery and Bennie Logan along with running back Michael Ford made it official Monday joining defensive backs Eric Reid and Tharold Simon, linebacker Kevin Minter, running back Spencer Ware and punter Brad Wing, who previously made announcements.
Former defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, a Heisman Memorial Trophy Finalist in 2011 who was kicked off the team in August, also has declared for the draft, pushing the total to 10 with offensive tackle Chris Faulk and defensive back Craig Loston's decisions still looming.
The departures fall on the heels of the Tigers' 25-24 loss to Clemson on a last second field goal in the Chick-fil-A Bowl on New Year's Eve. LSU finished 10-3 overall and were 6-2 in the SEC West.
"We are fortunate at LSU to be able to recruit the style of high school player that can develop very quickly into an NFL caliber athlete," Miles said of the school's early departures for the NFL. "It's an individual decision and one that has to do with them and their family. Generally speaking, every one of these guys is in position to return to school but we wish them great fortune as they pursue this next step."
Mingo, a native of West Monroe, was twice second team All-Southeastern Conference. He capped his career with 119 tackles, 27.0 tackles for loss, 15.0 sacks and a staggering 27 quarterback hurries.
Montgomery, from Greenwood, S.C., earned first team All-America honors as a sophomore and second team honors as a junior. For his career, Montgomery accumulated 104 tackles, 32.5 tackles for loss and 19.0 sacks.
Reid, a first-team All-America selection in 2012, is a product of Dutchtown High School in Geismar. For his career, Reid played in 39 games, starting 29 times. He finished with 194 career tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, and six interceptions.
Minter, a native of Suwanee, Ga., racked up 130 tackles this season to earn first team All-Southeastern Conference honors. He finished his LSU career with 206 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks.
Logan, from Coushatta, was a two-year starter at defensive tackle for the Tigers. For his career, Logan registered 105 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks.
Ware, of Cincinnati, finished with 1,249 rushing yards and 10 TDs to go along with 39 receptions for 404 yards and a pair of scores.
Ford, of Leesville, finished with 1,394 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. He added eight receptions for 69 yards and score and he returned 20 kickoffs for 549 yards.
Simon, of Eunice, recorded 96 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 22 pass breakups and intercepted seven passes in his career.
Wing, of Melbourne, Australia, earned first-team All-America honors as a freshmen. In two years, he punted 118 times for a 44.6 average.