Miles hopeful LSU has less early entrants

At his weekly press luncheon Monday, LSU coach Les Miles expressed optimism that the Tigers would lose less underclassmen to the NFL Draft this offseason. But, as he reminded, personal decisions and draft status don't always line up.

The last two offseasons have taken a major toll on the current landscape of LSU football as 17 underclassmen left the program to test NFL waters.

Following the 2012 campaign the Tigers waved goodbye to six non-senior defenders – Bennie Logan, KeKe Mingo, Kevin Minter, Sam Montgomery, Eric Reid and Tharold Simon (and unofficially Tyrann Mathieu) – to go with punter Brad Wing, running backs Michael Ford and Spencer Ware and offensive tackle Chris Faulk.

This past April seven more underclassmen threw their hats into the ring, and the offensive side of the ball was hurt more. Gone were receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry, running backs Jeremy Hill and Alfred Blue (who was a senior but declined a medical redshirt opportunity), offensive guard Trai Turner and defensive tackles Ego Ferguson and Anthony Johnson.

While LSU still has one regular season game to play in its 2014 season, head coach Les Miles on Monday spoke to the likelihood of more attrition as well as how and when he’ll address that issue with this year’s crop of prospective leapers.

“I really don’t know to be honest with you,” leveled Miles on how many underclassmen LSU could lose. “I haven't kind of looked at the numbers. I’m going to visit with guys as best I can as we come forward, but so many times it’s a very personal decision and it's not something that's really based many times on draft status.

“If it was (based on draft status), I would think that we would have a lesser number and a group that would be here pretty much intact. But, again, that’s not my decision. I’ll be involved it in very directly.”

The Tigers wrap up the regular season at Texas A&M Thursday night. Among the players fans will have to monitor in the discussion of underclassmen leaving early are offensive linemen Vadal Alexander and Jerald Hawkins, receiver Travin Dural, defensive end Danielle Hunter, outside linebacker Kwon Alexander and the secondary duo of Jalen Collins and Jalen Mills.

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