By TPR Staff

As if the sting of a last second loss to the Clemson Tigers in the Chick-fil-A Bowl was not enough, the fans of the LSU Tigers were just dealt some more bad news.

Having already announced his decision to leave LSU to enter the 2013 NFL Draft, linebacker Kevin Minter became the first of what could turn out to be a handful of Tigers to declare for early entry in April’s upcoming NFL Draft. He will be joined by safety Eric Reid, cornerback Tharold Simon, running back Spencer Ware and punter Brad Wing. All have formally declared their intention to leave LSU early and enter the 2013 NFL Draft.

It is a big blow to the Tigers’ defense, as they will lose at least three standout players on that side of the ball heading into next season. Reid and Minter both were AP second-team All-America selections. Simon was a starter who had four interceptions this season.

In case you needed proof, Minter recorded 19 tackles in the loss to Clemson on New Year’s Eve. He led the team with 130 for the season. Reid finished in third with 91 tackles in 2012.

But, as is the case with top notch college football programs, other new recruits will step in an replace the departed starters. They may not always be able to do so with quite as much impact, but college sports are nothing more than a revolving door, with some players leaving early, while others wait in the wings to replace them.

For Tigers’ fans who are feeling down this morning, fear not. LSU will be fine going forward.

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