The 6-foot-2, 244-pound Minter is the third-rated linebacker by ESPN's Scouts Inc. and the No. 33-ranked player overall.
"It was a very difficult (decision)," Minter told ESPN Radio 104.5 FM in Baton Rouge. "I love LSU. There's a reason why I came to wear the purple and gold. I love the atmosphere there. I love the coaches. It's hard leaving all that, but it's something I had to do for me and my family."
Minter will not be the only Tigers defender to leave for the NFL. Safety Eric Reid announced he was entering the draft Friday, and a source told ESPN that defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery also are likely to enter April's draft, with defensive tackle Bennie Logan still considering it.
A Butkus Award finalist, Minter recorded 130 tackles and four sacks this season. He said that he decided to forgo his senior season after discussing his options Wednesday with his family.
"This is for my family," he told ESPN Radio 104.5 FM. "I grew up not necessarily in the best financial situation growing up. This is what I've dreamed about. I can finally take care of my mother, my brothers and sisters. I had to do it for them."
GeauxTigerNation's Gary Laney contributed to this report.