UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers said he will skip his senior season and make himself available for the NFL draft.
Ayers, projected as a first-round pick in several mock drafts, created big plays during the last two seasons as a starter. His speed and size (6 feet 4, 255 pounds) are ideal for an outside linebacker in the NFL.
Ayers earned second-team All-American honors from the Walter Camp Foundation in 2010. Even while slowed by shoulder and toe injuries, he still made two interceptions, four sacks and 10 tackles for losses.
"I have had a great experience at UCLA and I am grateful that I had the opportunity to attend such an outstanding school," Ayers said in a statement released by the school. "I will miss playing with my UCLA teammates next year, but I feel that the decision to go to the NFL is what is best for my family."