Rice defensive lineman Christian Covington officially made his decision to forgo his senior season with the Rice Owls and enter the NFL draft Friday.
“The decision for me to leave was not an easy one, but through a lot of prayer, and the help of my family, my decision to declare became clear,” Covington said in a statement, per KHOU 11 Sports’ Daniel Gotera. “I am truly grateful for the opportunity Rice gave me to pursue my dreams and will forever remember the achievements that we made as a team that will surely go down in Rice Football history.
“I want to thank the coaching staff, strength staff, training staff, front office staff, academic staff, and all involved with the Rice Football; you truly impacted my life. I thank my teammates for the bonds and memories that I will never forget, and I thank the friends I have made who will remain a part of my life for years to come.”
Covington entered this season with some buzz regarding his pro potential. His status took a hit in November when he required knee surgery. As a result, the talented defender may not be able to work out for NFL scouts prior to April’s draft.
Prior to the injury, the 6-3, 300-pound defensive lineman registered 20 tackles and 2.5 sacks in seven games. The Vancouver native was named a First-Team All Conference USA performer as a sophomore.