By Dalton Ray —
Football’s junior cornerback Jaire Alexander has decided to enter the 2018 NFL Draft. Forgoing his senior season, Alexander will not play in the Taxslayer Bowl when the Cardinals take on Mississippi State on Dec. 30.
The junior entered the season as a preseason All-American after a breakout sophomore season. In the season opener, Alexander injured himself while returning a blocked kicked. He then missed four games. Alexander missed six total games this season.
Alexander received a grade from an NFL Draft advisory board that rated him no higher than a second round pick. He entered the year projected to be a first round pick.
Coach Bobby Petrino released a statement addressing Alexander’s decision.
“I know it was a very difficult decision for Jaire. I appreciate the contributions he made to the program over the last three seasons, and I wish him all the best in the future,” Petrino said.
In the six games with Alexander in the lineup, the Louisville defense averaged 218 passing yards. The Cardinals played four Power Five teams during his six-game absence and allowed 352 yards a game.
Since fully recovering from injury, Alexander has helped the Cardinals to their current three-game win streak. Louisville hasn’t allowed more than 215 yards passing and are holding teams to 18 points per game.
Alexander ends his Louisville career with 67 tackles, 20 pass breakups and six interceptions.
You can follow Dalton Ray on Twitter @dray5477.
File photo / The Louisville Cardinal