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Washington DT Levi Onwuzurike opts out of 2020 NCAA season, prepares for NFL Draft

Levi Onwuzurike, NCAA football, 2021 NFL Draft

Another talented draft prospect has decided to skip the 2020 college football season and declare for the NFL Draft.

Washington defensive tackle Levi Onwuzurike, an incoming senior, announced that he will opt out of his final season with the Huskies and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Onwuzurike’s announcement comes even as the Pac-12 Conference is still trying to iron out details regarding when its football season will resume. 

In his junior season for Washington, the 6-foot-3, 288-pound Onwuzurike was one of his team’s best players, finishing the season with 45 tackles, six tackles for loss, and two sacks. In three seasons with the Huskies, he had seven sacks and 95 tackles. He was named a member of the first-team All Pac-12 for the second straight year and was included on an All-American Team. 

Onwuzurike, who is projected to be among the best at his position in the draft and could be a first-round selection after a strong showing in the pre-draft process, joins several other highly touted prospects to skip the college football to have more time to prepare for the draft. 

Other prospects who have already declared for the 2021 NFL Draft are Michigan cornerback Ambry Thomas, LSU wide receiver JaMarr Chase, and Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence, however, previously announced that he will play one more season with coach Dabo Swinney and the Tigers despite declaring his intention to join the draft.

It is still not clear whether the Pac-12 will resume its football season in the fall or at a later time, and the possibility of the season stretching longer than usual has caused some of the best players in the conference to transfer to other schools or sit out the season altogether like Onwuzurike and use that time to prepare for the draft.