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Mackensie Alexander, Jayron Kearse enters NFL Draft

On January 13th, 2016 at 3:55 pm EST

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Clemson Tigers have seen more players leave early for the NFL Draft. Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd left yesterday, a day after the team lost to the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff National Championship at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The Tigers have lost Mackensie Alexander and Jayron Kearse to the NFL. Both will forgo their remaining eligibility to make the jump to the next level.

“After sitting down and talking to my support staff and family, I think it’s in my best interest to take the next step in my career and declare for the 2016 NFL Draft,” said Kearse on Instagram. “I think the NFL is what I need to take my game to the next level and that’s why I ultimately made the decision I’ve made.”

Jayron Kease trying to tackle Alabama’s Kenyan Drake (Getty Images)

Jayron Kease trying to tackle Alabama’s Kenyan Drake (Getty Images)

Alexander, who missed a good part of the national championship game with an injury, said that the decision was difficult. Both Lawson and Alexander were injured leading up to the game, but then Alexander suffered an injury early to his hamstring and couldn’t return.

“It was a tough decision, very difficult,” Alexander said. “I enjoyed my college experience. It was fun and something I’ve been really enjoying, competing with my friend, my brothers. You grow a bond in college. This was definitely something I’ve been enjoying. We’ve had great coaching. I talked to my parents. I’ve had a great career and I want to keep getting better and chase greatness. I feel I did everything I could in college. I made a bunch of plays to help my team.”

Alexander, a redshirt sophomore, had 23 tackles on the season. He’s considered a first-round pick as the 5-foot-10, 190-pounder has excellent cover skills.

Kearse, a 6-foot-5, 220-pounder, is considered one of the best safeties in the draft. He had 62 tackles and an interception this season.

He’s also the nephew of former NFL star defensive end Jevon Kearse.

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