In a move that’s only surprising in the fact that it came so close to the declaration deadline, Alshon Jeffery has officially taken his leave of the South Carolina football program.
The All-SEC wide receiver told ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad Thursday morning that he’s leaving a year of eligibility on the table in order to make himself available for the April draft. Jeffery is considered to be a lock to be taken at some point during the first round.
USC subsequently confirmed Jeffery’s decision via a press release.
“I plan to forgo my senior season and enter the NFL Draft,” said Jeffery in a statement. “I would like to thank the fans, my teammates, Coach Spurrier and everyone involved for all the opportunities South Carolina has provided me. I am proud to say I will always be a Gamecock.”
Jeffery was a unanimous all-conference first-team selection following the 2010 season, but dropped to the second team as his production fell thanks to issues the Gamecocks had at the quarterback position.
At 6-4, 229 pounds, however, Jeffery won’t have any problem attracting the attention of NFL scouts, regardless of what his 2011 production looks like on paper.