The judgement came down for several LSU Tigers contemplating their futures and the NFL draft Monday afternoon.
While the headline news was regarding star running back Jeremy Hill's decision to forego his junior campaign and head to the pros, several other key players made their decisions as well.
Easing the pain of Hill's departure was running back Kenny Hilliard, who elected to return for his senior season, as he announced on Twitter.
To close to graduating NFL can wait— kenny hilliard (@noceilings27) January 13, 2014
While one running back is returning, another will also be departing. Alfred Blue was recently granted an additional season of eligibility, but Shea Dixon of 247Sports.com cited LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette saying that the Boutte, La., native won't be back in 2014.
#LSU SID Michael Bonnette tells me Alfred Blue will not return next year. Plan for him all along was to be done after this season.— Shea Dixon (@Sheadixon) January 13, 2014
Rounding out the announcements was offensive guard Trai Turner, who chose to head to the next level, as tweeted by ESPN's Adam Schefter.
LSU guard Trai Turner has decided to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 13, 2014
Left waiting for: Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham Jr., Trai Turner and La'el Collins. Many expect first 3 to leave. #LSU— Ross Dellenger (@DellengerAdv) January 13, 2014
The Tigers will still return three starters—Vadal Alexander, Elliott Porter and Jerald Hawkins—on the offensive line, even if La'el Collins decides to depart along with Turner.
Additionally, they figure to be well set at running back as well. They'll return No. 2 running back Terrance McGee, who netted 626 rushing yards and eight touchdowns a year ago, as well as Hilliard, who tallied 310 yards and seven scores. Most importantly, LSU will welcome the No. 1 overall recruit in the nation, 5-star running back Leonard Fournette.
All signs point to Fournette being the go-to playmaker in Baton Rouge next year.
All of these losses would be crippling to most teams, but to LSU, which recruits as well as any program in the nation, it could be as simple as reloading with fresh talent in 2014.