Devon Witherspoon was a key player for Illinois this season, turning in a performance that landed him as a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.

On Saturday, Witherspoon officially made the call, announcing he will declare for the 2023 NFL Draft. Witherspoon has been a four-year contributor as a member of the 2019 recruiting class but could have returned for the 2023 season.

“To my brothers that I have made over these past few years, the bond we share is unbreakable. The memories we’ve made together is something I will always cherish as life continues…

“With that being said, I am announcing that I will be pursuing my life-long dream of playing at the next level and declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft.”

Witherspoon saved his best season for last, finishing 2022 with 14 pass breakups and 3 interceptions to go with 41 tackles. Over the past two seasons, Witherspoon registered 23 pass breakups in Ryan Walters’ defense.

Witherspoon leaves Illinois with 157 total tackles, 11.5 TFL, 5 interceptions and 25 pass breakups. He joins fellow defensive back Sydney Brown as key defenders that have opted out of the ReliaQuest Bowl to begin preparation for the NFL Draft.

Best of luck to Witherspoon and Brown at the next level.