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Drake Thomas declares for 2023 NFL Draft

NCAA Football: Boston College at North Carolina State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

No doubt we all held a small sliver of hope that Drake Thomas would opt to return for his senior season, but not surprisingly, he’s announced that he’ll be moving on to the NFL Draft after the bowl game. He’s not opting out of the bowl game.

In his announcement yesterday, he wrote in part:

Wolfpack Nation, if I could go back to June 1st, 2018 on my commitment day and do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I wouldn’t want to lay it all on the line every game day for any other school. Rain, shine, win, or loss you guys show up for us and I couldn’t be more thankful and proud to call myself a part of this family.

The end of an era for sure. The way he held the defense together in 2021 after it lost Isaiah Moore and Payton Wilson was impressive, and he somehow got even better this fall. Over the last two seasons, he has piled up 28.5 tackles for loss, and if my math is correct, he has 42 career TFLs—good enough for fifth all-time at NC State. And tops among linebackers. His 18 sacks also rank ninth all-time.

Hell of a career.