Bayou goodbye: Kevin Minter leaves LSU for NFL

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As the collegiate pipeline to the NFL continues to trickle right along, LSU has suffered its first loss to the 2012-13 early-draft carousel.

The mother of linebacker Kevin Minter confirmed to the Baton Rouge Advocate that her son is leaving the Tigers to enter the April NFL draft, which was followed shortly thereafter by a confirmation from the player himself to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.  Joe Schad of ESPN.com had previously reported the development.

It’s been an honor to play at LSU under Coach Les Miles and Coach (defensive coordinator John)  Chavis,” Minter, who has already hired an agent, told the Times-Picayune in a phone interview. “They helped me get where I am now. I’ll always bleed purple and gold.

“I was surprised at how fast it happened this year. I always knew I had the potential.”

Following a season in which he led the Tigers with 15 tackles for loss, Minter was named first-team All-SEC.  He was also named Defensive Player of the Game for his performance in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

Minter told the Times-Picayune that he expects to be taken in the neighborhood of the third round.

Alabama’s Anderson repeats as Bronko Nagurski award winner

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Alabama outside linebacker Will Anderson Jr. has become the second two-time winner of the Bronko Nagurski Award given to the nation’s top collegiate defensive player.

Anderson was presented the award on Monday night by the Charlotte Touchdown Club.

The 6-foot-4, 243-pound Anderson had 10 sacks for the No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide this season. He also won the award last year after recording 17 1/2 sacks.

Anderson, a junior, had two sacks in Alabama’s regular-season win finale against rival Auburn and had his first touchdown when he returned an interception 25 yards against Louisiana-Monroe.

Anderson joins former Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald as the only two-time winner of the award. Fitzgerald won the award in 1995 and 1996 and later went on to become the head coach at Northwestern.

It’s unclear if Anderson will enter the NFL draft or return to Alabama next season.

FSU standout QB Jordan Travis returning for senior season

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis, the fourth player in school history to account for 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns in a single season, is staying in school for his senior year.

Travis made the announcement Monday, the same day hundreds of players across the nation entered the NCAA transfer portal or declared for the NFL draft. Travis chose a different path and could be an early favorite in next year’s Heisman Trophy race.

“So many memories have been made on this field and we’re not done yet,” Travis said in a highlight video posted on social media. “See y’all in 2023.”

A fourth-year junior, Travis has 22 touchdown passes to go along with seven rushing scores, one receiving and just four interceptions. He has led the 13th-ranked Seminoles (9-3) to five consecutive wins as they prepare to play Oklahoma (6-6) in the Cheez-It Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando.

Travis joined FSU’s three Heisman Trophy winners – Charlie Ward in 1993, Chris Weinke in 2000 and Jameis Winston in 2013 – to account for 3,000 yards and 30 TDs in a season. He is one of six QBs in Power Five conferences with at least 20 TD passes and four or fewer interceptions.