The fact that LSU only passed for 53 yards in the BCS Championship game certainly is slowing down their receivers from making the early jump to the NFL.
According to multiple reports LSU junior Rueben Randle will be joining teammates Morris Claiborne, Michael Brockers and fellow receiver Russell Shepard as an early entrant into the 2012 NFL draft.
The news was first reported by TigerSportsDigest.com, which claimed that Randle's decision was made over a family dinner Wednesday and that the papers to be filed with the NFL were sent in Thursday.
While Shepard's decision is a bit puzzling, Randle's jump to the pros had been anticpated. Listed by the official website for LSU athletics at 6-4, 208 pounds, Randle was the Tigers' most productive receiver in 2011. He led the team in catches (53), receiving yards (917), average yards per catch (17.3) and receiving touchdowns (eight) and garnered First Team All-SEC accolades from the conference coaches.
He leaves LSU having started 24 of a possible 39 games and with 94 catches for 1,621 yards and 13 touchdowns over his career.
Though Randle was limited by sticky coverage from Alabama's 'Dre Kirkpatrick throughout much of the team's two battles in 2011 (combined five catches for 32 yards), ironically enough it was Randle's a three-catch, 125 yard effort against the Tide in 2010 that served as his "breakout game." Randle scored a 75 yard touchdown in that contest, the longest of his career. Kirkpatrick was one of three Alabama juniors to announce that they too are leaving the SEC early for the NFL.
Due largely to his rare combination of size and speed, Randle is currently ranked as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 6 receiver for the 2012 draft with a second round grade.