Azeez Ojulari has decided to leave while he’s on top.
After what could have been the best game of his career against Cincinnati in Friday’s Peach Bowl, the 6-foot-3, 240-pound outside linebacker decided to forego his final two years of eligibility and enter the NFL draft.
The redshirt sophomore from Marietta High School made the announcement Saturday with a statement he released on Twitter.
“First, I want to thank God for blessing me with the ability and putting me in position that I’m in today,” Ojulari said. “The past three years have been a blessing. I’d like to thank my parents for being my foundation. You raised me to chase greatness.
“I’d also like to thank Coach Smart and the whole staff at UGA for believing in me. Playing between the hedges on Saturdays is something I’ll be proud of forever. To my teammates, my brothers, y’all are family for life.
“As far as what’s next, I have decided to declare for the 2021 NFL Draft. Wherever this next chapter takes me, I will always be a DAWG.”
In Friday’s Peach Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Ojulari finished with three sacks, three tackles for loss and two forced fumbles, while forcing a safety on the final play of the game to seal the Bulldogs’ 24-21 victory. His strip-sack in the third quarter changed the game’s momentum and put Georgia in position to get back into a game it was trailing 21-10.
For the season, Ojulari finishes with 22 tackles, 8.5 sacks and four forced fumbles. For his career, he had 71 tackles, 14 sacks and five forced fumbles.
Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline has listed Ojulari among his top 25 players available in the draft.
“In my opinion, Azeez Ojulari is destined to be a star and an early draft pick,” Pauline said. “He’s an athletic linebacker who often comes out of a three-point stance for the UGA defense. Ojulari is quick and strong for his size, and he plays with great balance. He needs to develop his game, but I love his upside.”
Pauline has Ojulari as a late first-round or early second-round selection in Pro Football Network’s mock draft.
The draft will be held April 29-May 1 in Cleveland.