This evening, LSU left tackle Jerald Hawkins announced via his twitter that he will be forgoing his senior season and preparing for the 2016 NFL Draft.
Hawkins could have declared last year as a third-year sophomore but came back for his junior year for the chance to follow up La'el Collins at left tackle. He didn't quite meet those expectations, but still had a pretty good year overall. He's not on many of the scouting media's radars at the moment, but expect that to change.
Hawkins is a big, long-armed athlete who moves pretty well, and definitely has the talent for the NFL. His development has been interesting to watch, as he arrived here as a somewhat lightly recruited high school defensive end, but hit the starting lineup at right tackle as a redshirt freshman and never looked back.
He's the first of this crop of underclassmen to declare. The deadline is Jan. 18, so we should find out in the next two weeks or so on players like Tre'davious White, Travin Dural, Kendell Beckwith, Ethan Pocic, Christian LaCouture and Lewis Neal. We'll update the information as it comes.