Malik Jefferson declares for draft

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University of Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson declared for the NFL Draft, forgoing his final season of college eligibility.

“This is one of those decisions I have to make as a young man,” Jefferson said in a video posted on The Players Tribune. “It’s been a long process and a very difficult decision by leaving my teammates. They supported me in everything I did, but it’s a dream of mine, and I appreciate them for all their support.”

Jefferson, a former five-star recruit, finished his three-year career with 233 tackles, 25.5 tackles for loss and six pass breakups. This season, he was co-Big 12 defensive player of the year, a second-team All-American and a semifinalist for the Butkus Award.

He becomes the fifth Longhorn to leave early as safety DeShon Elliott, left tackle Connor Williams, cornerback Holton Hill and punter Michael Dickson already announced their intentions.