All-SEC Free Safety Chad Jones released a statement today with his family announcing that he will forgo his final season at Louisiana State University and enter the NFL draft.

The LSU athletic department and Coach Les Miles have not confirmed Jones’ decision. Miles is currently attending the NCAA football coaches’ convention in Orlando, Fla.

Jones, the Tiger’s fifth leading tackler in 2009 and emotional leader on defense, leaves an enormous hole in the LSU secondary.

Jones has brought a great deal of leadership to the LSU defense despite only being a full-time starter for one season.

His remarkable performance against Mississippi State in September 2009 gave him instant credibility as a starter and leader on John Chavis’ new defense.

After returning a punt 93 yards for a touchdown to give the Tigers the lead, Jones was instrumental in a goal-line stand that kept the Bulldogs from regaining the lead.