LSU DE Davon Godchaux announces he'll enter NFL draft

LSU defensive end Davon Godchaux has decided to enter the NFL draft.

Godchaux -- the No. 10 draft-eligible defensive tackle prospect on ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.'s board -- announced on his Instagram account Sunday that he plans to forgo his final college season so that he can turn pro.

"This was a very difficult decision, but I know in my heart this is the best choice for me and my son, Davon Montel Godchaux II," Godchaux wrote. "Anytime you leave your home and family it's difficult to do, but LSU will always be my family."

He joins running back Leonard Fournette as LSU underclassmen who have entered the draft. Others like safety Jamal Adams and wide receiver Malachi Dupre have yet to announce their decisions.

Godchaux was the leading tackler among LSU's defensive linemen this season, finishing with 62 tackles, along with 6.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss. In Saturday's dominant bowl win against Louisville and Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson, Godchaux recorded four tackles, one sack and a pass deflection. The Tigers held the Cardinals to 220 yards and nine points, both season lows for one of the nation's most explosive offenses.

Godchaux jumped into LSU's starting lineup at defensive tackle early in his freshman season and never left. He started the final 33 games of his LSU career, remaining one of the Tigers' most durable and consistent performers up front.

His starting status seemed to be in jeopardy in late September when he was arrested and charged with domestic abuse/child endangerment and false imprisonment after an incident with his girlfriend. However, LSU coach Ed Orgeron reinstated Godchaux from suspension later that week once East Baton Rouge district attorney Hillar Moore dropped the charges after follow-up interviews with Godchaux and the woman.

Godchaux said during bowl practice that the incident was just another item on a long list -- family members in and out of jail, his mother in and out of the hospital, lifelong poverty, becoming a father while in college -- of things that have impacted his life.

"I always feel like things that happened to me in the past, whether it is where I grew up, how I grew up, just things like that just changed me, just made me more mature," Godchaux said. "Seeing things like that at a younger age made me the person I am today."

An LSU source told ESPN.com Godchaux was officially given a "stay in school" grade from the NFL College Advisory Committee.