DL Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd announced they will enter the 2016 NFL Draft today, just two days after losing to Alabama in the National Championship Game. Lawson, who was always expected to leave, is likely to be a first or second round pick.
The big surprise was Kevin Dodd, earlier this year the idea of the lineman leaving for the NFL seemed ludicrous, but he has performed extremely well. Dodd and Lawson have lead the NCAA in tackles for loss, likely becoming the first teammates to ever do it. Hopefully Dodd got a good rating from the NFL Draft Board and is not taking a big chance. Almost 50% of underclassmen that declared early did not get drafted last year making this move a bit of a risk.
In better news, RB Wayne Gallman announced he was staying at Clemson for a final season. Though highly touted recruit Tavien Feaster is expected to enroll, Gallman staying provides Clemson with quality blocking and the opportunity for an excellent 1-2 combination at RB. Gallman will likely remain the starter with Feaster seeing significant snaps as the backup.
As of now we are waiting to hear from other players, but Mac Alexander is expected to declare and rumors have been swirling about Jayron Kearse and T.J. Green.
From a recruiting perspective, these departures now give Clemson 17 scholarships for the 2016 class, including Alexander's departure. Clemson currently has 15 commits. Hopefully we will see several other players transferring out of the program to give Clemson a chance at getting 20-21 guys in this class.