LSU junior linebacker Kevin Minter has opted to forgo his final season of eligibility and make himself available for the NFL Draft, he announced on Thursday.
Minter, a native of Suwanee, Ga., just finished one of the most productive seasons for a Tiger defender in school history, racking up 130 tackles, 15.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks and four quarterback hurries. His 130 tackles in 2012 rank as the fifth-highest total in school history, while the 15.0 tackles for loss ties for ninth in LSU history.
Minter earned first team All-America honors from Sports Illustrated in 2012 and was one of five finalists for the Butkus Award, which goes to the top linebacker in college football. Minter, who was named LSU's most valuable player in 2012, was also a first team All-Southeastern Conference selection and was twice named the SEC Defensive Player of the Week.
Minter had a breakout game against Florida, recording 20 tackles, including a school-record 17 solo stops. The 20 tackles rank as the second-most in a single-game in LSU history.
Minter followed that with another outstanding effort against Texas A&M with 12 tackles, one sack, an interception and two quarterback hurries as the Tigers shut down eventual Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in the 24-19 LSU win. Minter led an LSU defense against Texas A&M that held Manziel to a season-low 27 yards rushing. The Tigers also forced Manziel to throw three interceptions and held him without a passing or rushing touchdown for the only time all year.
Minter was named National Defensive Player of the Week by three organizations for his performance against the Aggies.
Minter capped his career with another outstanding effort, registering 19 tackles and earning defensive MVP honors in LSU's 25-24 setback to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.
Minter finished his LSU career with 206 total tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. He played in 38 games, starting 24 times.