Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary announces he will enter 2019 NFL draft

Gary expected to be picked early in first round

Michigan DL Rashan Gary celebrates a sack against Western Michigan. (Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Michigan defensive lineman Rashan Gary announced Monday that he will forego his senior season and enter the 2019 NFL draft.

The former No. 1 overall recruit in the 2016 class spent three seasons in Ann Arbor, appearing in 35 games and making 137 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks.

He played in all 13 games as a freshman and sophomore before missing three games this season due to a shoulder injury. Gary made 44 tackles, seven tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks in nine games this season.

"I would like to thank my higher power, my family, the University of Michigan, the students and the fans," Gary said in YouTube video. "I will be foregoing my senior season to make a dream come true to declare for the draft. Thank you. Go Blue."

Michigan's regular season came to an end Saturday with a 62-39 loss at Ohio State that ended any hopes of a Big Ten championship and College Football Playoff appearance.

Regardless of which New Year's Six bowl invitation Michigan receives, it's unclear if Gary would risk injury in a game that doesn't have national championship implications. Several players have understandably sat out these types of games to prepare for the draft.

In 2016, Michigan tight end Jake Butt suffered a torn ACL in the Orange Bowl, which greatly hurt his draft stock.

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