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LSU Tigers OL La'El Collins opts to stay for senior season

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Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports
LSU's La'El Collins could position himself as a top left-tackle prospect next season.

LSU offensive lineman La'El Collins put a stop to the parade of Tigers underclassmen leaving early for the NFL, announcing Tuesday that he will stay in school for his senior season in 2014.

It stopped the bleeding for the Tigers, if they hadn't already bled out.

Underclassmen for 2014 draft
Take a look at the list of players who have announced their intentions to apply for early entry into the 2014 NFL Draft, including Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel. More ...

Two running backs (Alfred Blue, Jeremy Hill), two wide receivers (Jarvis Landry, Odell Beckham), two defensive tackles (Ego Ferguson, Anthony Johnson) and an offensive guard (Trai Turner) are all entering the NFL draft early, marking 17 LSU underclassmen to do so since the end of the 2012 season. The 10 underclassmen LSU lost last year were the most in college football, and with this year's deadline to declare approaching Wednesday, the program's seven underclass losses this year are expected to be an NCAA-high again.

Collins (6-foot-5, 315 pounds), LSU's starting left tackle, will help anchor a line next year ahead of running backs Kenny Hilliard, who also opted not to turn pro, Terrence Magee and heralded incoming freshman Leonard Fournette. In a draft loaded with strong prospects at the left tackle position, Collins, who has been projected as a second- or third-round pick, is setting the stage to perhaps be closer to the top of a weaker pool of left tackles in the 2015 draft.

Said Beckham, according to theadvocate.com: "He thinks he should be a first-round guy."

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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