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Michael Ford becomes 9th current LSU player to declare for draft

Will the last LSU player to declare for the NFL Draft please turn out the lights?

Unfortunately for the Tigers, the defections continued Monday.

The school confirmed Monday that running back Michael Ford will leave the crowded Tigers backfield to cast his lot in the NFL. Ford becomes the second LSU back to leave as a junior this year, joining fellow junior Spencer Ware.

"I have speed, I can catch, I can block and I can run through tackles. All the guys going pro? Our dream is to make it to the NFL," Ford told ESPN's Joe Schad.

Ford finished third on the Tigers in rushing for the 2012 season with 392 yards and served as LSU's primary kickoff return man. He had 1,416 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in his college career.

The Leesville High product face concerns in the preseason whether he would be academically eligible for the 2012 campaign but was cleared for action prior to the season opener. Ford now looks to improve upon current projections listing Ford as a third day draft pick in rounds 5-7 or as an undrafted free agent.

The LSU backfield is still strong headed into next season with Jeremy Hill, Kenny Hilliard and Alfred Blue returning with ample experience.

Overall, nine Tigers with college eligibility have decided to leave school for pro football:

  • DE Barkevious Mingo
  • DE Sam Montgomery
  • DT Bennie Logan
  • S Eric Reid
  • LB Kevin Minter
  • CB Tharold Simon
  • RB Michael Ford
  • RB Spencer Ware
  • P Brad Wing

One bright side for LSU comes with the commitment of starting safety Craig Loston to return for his senior season.

Video from LSU Athletics