LSU Football junior defensive end BJ Ojulari announced his intent to declare for the 2023 NFL draft, he said in a Sunday afternoon tweet.

“To my coaches, staff members, trainers, nutritionist and all who have dedicated countless hours and instilled greatness into me since the first day I stepped on campus. Thank you for believing in me on and off the field,” BJ Ojulari wrote. “Trusting me with the greatest honor in LSU football history with the No. 18.

“It was an honor and a privilege to wear it while representing the great state of Louisiana.”

BJ Ojulari was awarded the No. 18, or the number worn by quarterback Matt Mauck from 2000-03, by head coach Brian Kelly in early August. The number is given to a players who “brings all those traits of someone who leads in an extraordinary manner,” Kelly said, including the attention to detail, great focus, represents the program in a positive way in the classroom, in the community and on the field.

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The 6-foot-3-inch LSU defensive end finished the season with 58 total tackles, including 34 solo, along with 5.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for loss before he declared for the NFL draft. He earned a season-high 11 tackles against the Alabama Crimson Tide in early November, gaining 1.5 tackles for loss and one sack against junior quarterback Bryce Young in a 32-31 win.

BJ Ojulari told his LSU teammates to finish what the team had started before declaring for the NFL draft ahead of a game against the Purdue Boilermakers in the Cheez-It Citrus Bowl in early January. The Boilermakers will be without head coach Jeff Brohm, who left to accept the open Louisville job last Wednesday.

“To my brothers, thank you for all the memories and laughs we shared together that got me through the toughest days. I wouldn’t have wanted to share it with anyone else. The bond we’ve built will go way beyond football. I love you all.

“Now go continue what we started.”