Alabama Crimson Tide S Xavier McKinney entering 2020 NFL Draft

Jan. 5 (UPI) — Alabama Crimson Tide safety Xavier McKinney will forgo his senior season and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

McKinney, a first-team All-SEC selection, announced his decision to enter the draft on social media Sunday.

“First of all, I would like to thank the man above — without Him none of this would have been possible,” McKinney wrote on Instagram. “I would also like to thank my family, coaches, friends and loved ones who have stuck with me through the bad and the good along this journey.

“Making it to this point in my life was not easy, but with hard work and dedication, I was able to persevere through it all. … My time in Tuscaloosa has been special, but I have reached a point in my career where I have to make a decision about my future. With much thought and consideration, I would like to announce that I will be declaring for the 2020 NFL Draft.”

McKinney, one of the top-rated safeties in the upcoming draft class, led the Crimson Tide in tackles (95) this season. He also recorded three interceptions, three sacks, four forced fumbles and five pass breakups.

McKinney, a 6-foot-1 native of Georgia, played primarily on special teams during his freshman season before starting the last two years at Alabama. With the departure of McKinney, the Crimson Tide will be without four of its five starters in the secondary next season.

Crimson Tide star wide receiver Jerry Jeudy and offensive tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. both announced Saturday that they are skipping their senior seasons to enter the draft. Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will announce his decision Monday.

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