- David Ching, SEC reporter
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The long-expected exits of key LSU underclassmen appear to be underway.
Yahoo! Sports reported the receivers' decisions earlier Sunday.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. in November listed Beckham as the No. 6 non-senior receiver among possible draft prospects, while ranking Ferguson and Johnson fourth and fifth among non-senior defensive tackles.
Landry, Beckham and running back Jeremy Hill combined with senior quarterback Zach Mettenberger to form one of the most prolific combinations of offensive talent in school history. Together they helped LSU become the SEC's first team to boast a 3,000-yard passer, a 1,000-yard rusher and two 1,000-yard receivers.
Beckham, who is second nationally in all-purpose yards per game (178.1), won the Paul Hornung Award as the nation's most versatile player and was a third-team All-American as an all-purpose player. All-SEC juniors Landry (77 catches, 1,193 yards, 10 TDs) and Beckham (59 catches, 1,152 yards, 8 TDs) this season became the sixth and seventh LSU players to record at least 1,000 receiving yards in one fall.
Hill, a draft-eligible sophomore, will have a decision of his own to announce in the near future. After rushing for 216 yards in the Tigers' Outback Bowl win against Iowa, the All-SEC tailback completed the season with 1,401 rushing yards -- the second-best single-season total in LSU history -- and 16 touchdowns.
Kiper listed Hill as the No. 5 non-senior tailback prospect.
Johnson and Ferguson could be the only early losses from an LSU defense that was decimated by early departures at this time last year. Among LSU's 11 early draft entries in 2013 were seven players -- linemen Bennie Logan, Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery, linebacker Kevin Minter, safety Eric Reid and cornerbacks Tharold Simon and Tyrann Mathieu -- from the defense.
LSU junior wide receivers Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry will give up their collegiate eligibility to enter the NFL draft, Yahoo! Sports reported Sunday.