Ferguson declares for NFL draft

LSU defensive tackle Ego Ferguson and right guard Trai Turner have joined Athletes’ Performance, an operation that prepares players for the NFL Combine.

Ferguson, a junior, and Turner, a draft-eligible redshirt sophomore, have not officially declared for the NFL draft. Athletes who join to train at the facility don’t have to turn pro, but they are training with hopes of being invited to the NFL Combine, set for Feb. 22-25 in Indianapolis.

Athletes’ Performance is not an agency and the company’s trainees aren’t exclusively NFL draftees, an employee of the company said Friday. Athletes’ Performance announced on Twitter on Friday that Ferguson and Turner would join.

LSU team spokesman Michael Bonnette declined comment on Friday.

Earlier Friday, former LSU defensive tackle Anthony Johnson and safety Craig Loston signed with the Monroe-based agency ProSource Sports, according to the agency’s Twitter handle.

ProSource tweeted that Johnson and Loston had signed contracts with the agency, the largest sports agency in Louisiana, according to its website. Some of the agency’s clients include former LSU players Bennie Logan and Barkevious Mingo.

Johnson announced on Twitter on Thursday that he was forgoing his senior year to turn pro, an expected move. Loston recently completed his senior year.

Six draft-eligible LSU players are projected to be selected in the top four rounds of the draft. The list includes receivers Johnson, Odell Beckham, Jr. and Jarvis Landry, Ferguson and running back Jeremy Hill and left tackle La’el Collins.

Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to declare for the draft. Only Johnson has officially done so.

Ferguson is listed as the fifth-best defensive tackle in this year’s draft, according to CBSSports.com. He’s projected for selection in the second round, ahead of Johnson.

Turner, who like Hill did not play his true freshman season and thus is eligible, was not in the group of players thought to make the early leap. Turner is not listed in CBSSports.com’s list of top 56 offensive guards in this year’s draft.

Return to Tide

Neville High safety Laurence “Hootie” Jones re-committed to Alabama late Thursday night, according to several reports.

Jones told The Advocate on Thursday afternoon that he’d announce his decision that night from a hotel in Orlando where he stayed with other players competing in the Under Armour All-American Game in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Jones, also considering LSU and Ole Miss, de-committed from the Tide earlier this month.

He’s ranked as the fourth-best safety in the nation, according to 24/7 Sports’ composite ratings, which factor in other recruiting sites.

Dupre set for five visits

John Curtis wideout Malachi Dupre will visit five schools before National Signing Day on Feb. 5, he said after the Under Armour game. They include LSU, Florida State, Ole Miss, UCLA and Alabama.

Dupre is ranked as the second-best receiver in the nation. The five-star prospect is the 16th overall recruit in the nation.

Mainieri inducted to HOF

LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri joined his father in being inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame on Friday in Dallas.

Demie Mainieri, a long-time community college baseball coach in Miami, was inducted in 1988. The two are the only father-son combination in the hall of fame.

Other notable inductees for the class include Clemson coach Jack Leggett and Stetson coach Pete Dunn. The group was selected for induction last January.