Back in late November, defensive tackle Brandon Jenkins announced he would forego an attempt at a medical redshirt and instead make himself available for the April NFL draft. As expected, Jenkins wasn’t the lone loss from the Seminoles’ standout defense.
Following FSU’s Orange Bowl win over Northern Illinois, cornerback Xavier Rhodes announced that he too will leave eligibility on the table for a shot at the upcoming NFL draft.
“I’m excited,” Rhodes said of his decision by way of the Tallahassee Democrat. “After last year I was thinking about it. And then I stayed healthy this season. I wanted to basically focus on this season and not really worry about it (the NFL). I wanted to get my team here. That’s what I did.”
After a season that saw him tied for the team lead in interceptions with three and lead the ‘Noles in passes defensed, the redshirt junior was named first-team All-ACC. Rhodes, a three-star member of FSU’s 2009 recruiting class, started 37 games during his career in Tallahassee.
Unfortunately for the ‘Noles, Rhodes and Jenkins might not be the only early defensive losses.
Three other players from that side of the ball, including All-American Bjoern Werner, are considering leaving early. Werner in particular is considered both a lock to leave and to be selected in the top 10 of the draft; the standout defensive lineman said after the Orange Bowl that he has made a decision but will wait to officially reveal it so as not to detract from the win.
An official announcement could come as early as today.