Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander and redshirt junior defensive end Kevin Dodd will enter the 2016 NFL draft, they announced Wednesday.
In an Instagram post, Alexander detailed his decision process. The news comes in wake of Clemson’s 45–40 loss to Alabama in the national title game, in which Alexander injured his hamstring and did not return.
“This was not an easy decision for me as I have truly enjoyed my time at Clemson. Monday night was an emotional night and I wanted nothing more than to play all 60 minutes of that game. however, not only last night but all season long, the world got to see what Clemson is all about and I have no doubt that the Tigers will be in Tampa this time next year.”
Alexander added that he intends to return and complete his college degree.
A two-year starter, Alexander was known as a top man-to-man defender despite never making an interception. He broke up 11 passes in his career at Clemson. He becomes the sixth Clemson defender to enter the draft early.
A photo posted by Mackensie (@mackensiealexander2) on
In his first year as a starter, Dodd broke out in the college football playoff as he combined for 8.5 tackles for loss against Oklahoma and Alabama. He recorded five tackles for loss and three sacks in the National Championship.
“Leaving Clemson is an extremely tough decision, but I truly feel like I am physically and mentally ready for the next challenge,” Dodd said in a statement from his agents at Element Sports Group. “We had an amazing season. I am so proud of what we accomplished, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to play football here at Clemson.”
He finished his season with 12 sacks, 62 total tackles and 23 1/2 tackles for a loss of 99 yards.
Defensive end Shaq Lawson has also declared for the NFL draft.