Georgia star DT Jalen Carter declares for NFL draft

One of the stars of Georgia’s national championship team is moving on to the NFL.

In the hours after the Bulldogs’ blowout over TCU, defensive tackle Jalen Carter announced that he is declaring for the NFL draft. Carter is considered a surefire first-round pick who could even go in the top five.

Carter was a top 50 recruit in the class of 2020 who emerged as a star during the 2021 season. Despite not being a starter, Carter was one of the best players on the field for the Bulldogs as they knocked off Alabama to win their first national title since 1980.

The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Carter dealt with an ankle injury that limited his snaps early this season. He also missed two games with a knee injury. He ended up finishing the season with 32 tackles, seven tackles for loss and three sacks. For his career, he totaled 83 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and six sacks.

Georgia defensive lineman Jalen Carter (88) waves to the crowd before the national championship NCAA College Football Playoff game between Georgia and TCU, Monday, Jan. 9, 2023, in Inglewood, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Jalen Carter has declared for the NFL draft after a dominant season for the national champion Georgia Bulldogs. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

In addition to Carter, Georgia cornerback Kelee Ringo also appears to be on his way to the NFL. According to the Athens Banner-Herald, Ringo said he would “most likely” declare for the draft before the early-entrant deadline on Jan. 16.

Ringo had 42 tackles and two interceptions this season but is most-known for his game-sealing pick-six in last year’s national championship game versus Alabama.

Ringo took a redshirt in 2020 before starting for the Bulldogs over the past two seasons. He combined for 76 tackles and four interceptions.

Like Carter, Ringo is considered a likely first-round pick.