On Monday morning, Texas Longhorns linebacker Joseph Ossai announced via Twitter that he will forgo his senior season, opt out of the remainder of the current campaign, and declare for the 2021 NFL Draft:
As ESPN's Dave Wilson noted, NFL Draft guru Mel Kiper has Ossai ranked as the No. 2 outside linebacker among 2021 prospects behind only Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Ryan Wilson and Josh Edwards of CBS Sports list Ossai as a first-round selection in updated mock drafts, while Charlie Campbell of Walter Football projects Ossai could fall to the second or third round.
Ossai leaves the Longhorns leading the team with five sacks and three forced fumbles. He tallied the last sack of his collegiate career in the 69-31 win over the Kansas State Wildcats on Dec. 5.
Texas is currently slated to only have a bowl game remaining on the calendar for the season. The Longhorns finished the campaign with a 6-3 record after their game against the Kansas Jayhawks scheduled for Dec. 12 was scrapped due to COVID-19 issues impacting Texas.
"In 2020, Ossai has improved week-by-week and has become a real presence in the Texas defense," Campbell wrote last month. "He was all over the field to help lead his team to an overtime win over Oklahoma State. Ossai has pass-rush upside and plays with a good motor. Team sources say they see Ossai as a fit to be a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL."