LSU junior defensive tackle Ed Alexander is declaring for the NFL Draft and foregoing his senior season. He will not play in the Fiesta Bowl against UCF on Jan. 1.
His mother, Stephanie Pool-Pryor, told NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune of Alexander’s decision Wednesday (Dec. 19), and Ed Orgeron confirmed his departure.
Alexander made the SEC All-Freshman team in 2016, played in 10 games in 2017 but hardly saw the field the first half of the 2018 season due to a lingering knee injury. He worked closely with the strength staff and the nutrition staff to lower his body fat percentage. He became the full-time starter at nose tackle by LSU’s 36-16 win against Georgia on Oct. 13.
From that point on, Alexander was a crucial piece in the middle. He took up double teams and freed up other defenders to make plays while also becoming an effective pass rusher.
His emergence came right as starting defensive end Breiden Fehoko dealt with his own injuries. With Fehoko out for the bowl game with a bicep injury, losing Alexander hits the defensive line even more.
Now, LSU will rely on Rashard Lawrence, Glen Logan and rotation players like Tyler Shelvin and Neil Farrell in the Fiesta Bowl.