In a move that surprised no one, Texas A&M’s all-everything defensive lineman DeMarvin Leal announced on Wednesday that he is foregoing his final year of college eligibility and declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft. Leal is projected by virtually every service as a first round draft pick, and while he does not say it explicitly, the expectation is that he will not play in Texas A&M’s bowl game.
Leal was a five-star recruit out of Converse Judson in Texas A&M’s 2019 recruiting class. That class, which ranked No. 4 nationally, turned out to be a pivotal one for the Aggies, including Leal, Kenyon Green, Demani Richardson, Isaiah Spiller, Jalen Wydermyer, Layden Robinson, Zach Calzada, Chase Lane and Ainias Smith, among others.
This season, Leal played at both DE and DT for A&M, mostly playing at DT, and tied for 5th on the team in tackles (58), led the team in tackles for loss (12.5) and tied for the team lead in sacks (8.5) with DE Tyree Johnson. For his three-year career, he totaled 133 tackles (25 for loss) and 13 sacks in 33 games played.
Leal is most likely not the only Texas A&M junior to leave a year early for the NFL Draft, and may not be the only one to forego the bowl game, which is becoming a much more common practice for NFL-bound players. OL Kenyon Green, another projected first round pick, is almost certain to join Leal in declaring early, as it RB Isaiah Spiller and TE Jalen Wydermyer. S Demani Richardson and WR Ainias Smith are guys that may go pro but might also return for their senior season.
Thanks for three great years, DeMarvin, and good luck at the next level.