Three times in the past two days, LSU underclassmen have officially announced they are leaving early for the NFL. This evening, the official count is up to five.
Both running back Spencer Ware and suspended punter Brad Wing are confirmed early entrants into the April NFL draft, the school announced Friday. Each had been considered two of the handful of Tigers giving serious consideration to an early move, particularly the latter following a suspension for what was reportedly multiple failed drug tests and cost him a shot at playing in this year’s bowl game.
The loss of Ware might actually be the lesser of these two given the stable of backs Les Miles has assembled in Baton Rouge, although the junior certainly possesses the physical talent and tools to succeed at the next level. He finished second on the team in rushing yards (707) and led the club in rushing touchdowns with eight last season, with his production dropping to 367/1 thanks, again, to Miles’ stable.
“I feel confident that I am ready to go to the next level and I look forward to working hard in preparation for this next chapter in my life,” Ware’s statement read. “I want to thank everyone at LSU for all they have done for me over the last three years. I especially want to thank Coach Miles and his staff for helping me to develop on the field, and mature as both a player and a person. I also want to thank my teammates for all the support they’ve given me.
“I will forever where purple and gold as a badge of honor and I wish continued prosperity and success to the Tiger Nation.”
As for Wing, he was 11th in the nation with a 44.8 yards per punt average a year after he was 11th with a 44.4 average. He was arguably most famous for being the first player to have a touchdown called back last season because of the then-new taunting rule.
As a redshirt sophomore, he had two years of eligibility remaining.
“Can’t express enough love for Tiger Nation,” Wing wrote on Twitter after his decision was announced. “Thank you for making these 3 years so amazing. Love to the fans, my teammates and coaches.”