BATON ROUGE, La. -- Around the nation, and to those who follow LSU from an arm's length, the news that trickled out from Nicholson Drive in the last week was alarming.
The Tigers lost nine, count them, nine underclassmen to the NFL draft over the weekend, leaving the defense in a rebuilding mode and their deep stable of running backs an injury away from being dangerously thin.
It was called a mass exodus. Best we can tell, it set the record for the number of underclassmen leaving one school early for the NFL. Before they left, LSU figured to have 10 defensive starters back. After the early exits, it was down to four.
But understand this: It didn't shock those close to the program.