2019 NFL Draft: LSU loses Butkus Award-winning linebacker Devin White early

The heartbeat of LSU's defense is taking his talents to the next level. On Monday morning, the final day to declare early for the 2019 NFL Draft, linebacker Devin White announced that he will turn pro and capitalize on his first-round draft stock. 

White finished 2018 with a team-high 123 tackles, becoming just the seventh player in LSU history to record back-to-back 100-tackle seasons during a college career. The third-year junior from Springhill, Louisiana, has been a first-team All-SEC pick each of the last two seasons and was a consensus All-America team selection this year. 

The announcement was made official in a video posted to White's Twitter account, complete with a rundown of the star linebacker thanking the multiple coaches who have influenced his time in Baton Rouge. 

"I would like to thank God, my family, coaches and teammates," White said. "To coach Les Miles and coach Frank Wilson, for offering me my first scholarship. To Dave Aranda, thank you for everything you have done for me, especially helping me become LSU's first Butkus Award winner. To Coach O, thank you for caring about me much more than a player, but as a son. Thank you for leading this team to a great season. The support you have selflessly given me has been truly remarkable." 

White is considered to be a first round prospect along with teammate Greedy Williams, who also announced his decision to leave early and enter in the 2019 NFL Draft. CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Ryan Wilson currently has Williams slated at No. 13 and White at No. 22 in his most recent mock draft. 

For LSU, it's not all farewell to the draft eligible stars from 2018's 10-win team. Defensive end Breiden Fehoko, defensive tackle Rashard Lawrence and linebacker Michael Divinity Jr. all have announced their intent to return for LSU for their senior seasons in 2019. 

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

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