Chad Jones announced Monday that he will enter the NFL draft, ending his career as a lefthander/outfielder and a free safety for Louisiana State.
"My heart will always be at LSU, especially with my coaches and teammates who played an instrumental role in my college football and baseball experiences," Jones said in a statement e-mailed by his father to several news outlets. "I know another season at LSU would be fun and successful and that I could accomplish more on the field with the Tigers, but this opportunity with the NFL is impossible for me to pass."
An electric athlete with premium arm strength, speed and power potential, Jones was a key lefthander out of LSU's bullpen in the Tigers' run to the 2009 national title. But he was a second-team all-Southeastern Conference selection at safety this fall, and he has a chance to be picked in the top two rounds of the NFL draft this spring.
The Tigers have plenty of talent returning but not a lot of depth, and they were counting on Jones filling a valuable two-way role this spring. His decision is certainly a bit of a blow to their hopes of repeating as champions, and it puts added pressure on unproven players like sophomore outfielder Johnny Dishon and power-armed righthander Mitch Mormann to emerge as key players this spring.
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