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College football: Utah Utes star LB Devin Lloyd declares for 2022 NFL Draft

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Utah Utes standout linebacker Devin Lloyd announced Wednesday on social media that he will enter the 2022 NFL Draft.

Lloyd's decision to declare for the draft was widely expected after he opted to return to Utah for a fourth season despite the possibility of being a first-round pick in the 2021 draft.

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The Athletic ranks Lloyd as the top linebacker in this year's draft class, while ESPN has him as the No. 8-ranked player overall in the 2022 draft.

"Utah, I love you," Lloyd said in a video posted to Twitter. "You'll always be a part of my heart and I'm blessed to be a part of your history."

Lloyd was a consensus All-American in the 2021 season, guiding the Utes to their first Pac-12 championship and a Rose Bowl appearance. He also earned Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year honors this past season.

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The two-time Butkus Award finalist finished his four-year career with 111 total tackles, eight sacks, four interceptions, one forced fumble and six passes defensed in the 2021 campaign.

Lloyd notched 256 tackles, 16.5 sacks, five picks, two forced fumbles and eight pass breakups over his four seasons at Utah.

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