Auburn's Lemonier Leaving for NFL

AUBURN—Auburn junior defensive end Corey Lemonier will forgo his senior season and make himself eligible for the 2013 National Football League Draft.

"We appreciate Corey's many contributions to the Auburn football program, both on and off the field, during his three years," Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn said.

"Corey is a class act and we wish him nothing but the best as he pursues his dream to play professional football."

A native of Hialeah, Fla., Lemonier was a second-team All-Southeastern Conference selection this past season after tallying 34 tackles with 5.5 quarterback sacks and 5.5 tackles for loss.

"This was a very difficult decision for me," Lemonier said. "I prayed a lot and felt this was the best for me to pursue this opportunity. I loved every minute of my time at Auburn and I'm very appreciative of my teammates, coaches and the entire Auburn family. It is sad to leave such a special place like Auburn, but ultimately I made a decision that was best for me and my family."

Lemonier was named first-team All-SEC as a sophomore when he led Auburn with 9.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss. The 6-4, 246-pounder played in 34 career games, making 24 starts. He finished his Auburn career with 98 tackles, 17.0 sacks, 24.0 tackles for loss and 33 quarterback hurries.

His 17.0 sacks are tied for seventh on the school's career list.