"After careful thoughts and prayers, I have decided to forgo my senior season at Auburn to pursue my dream of a career in the NFL," McClover said. "I returned home following the bowl game and had long talks with my parents and prayed a lot about my future. I also received the coaches' input and weighed that into my decision. I feel like this is the right opportunity for me to take my game to the next level."
A Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., native that played his high school football at Auburn pipeline Dillard High, McClover played in 24 games during his Auburn career, registering 66 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss and 15.5 quarterback sacks.
McClover celebrates a sack against Wisconsin in the Capital One Bowl on Monday.
This season, the 6-3, 260-pound McClover played in 11 contests and led the team with 13.5 tackles for loss and eight quarterback sacks, while ranking 12th on the squad with 31 tackles. He said that the decision to leave was a tough one for him to make because of the relationships and the things he learned while at Auburn.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without Auburn and want to thank the coaches for everything they have done for me," McClover said. "The entire coaching staff, especially Coach (Tommy) Tuberville, Coach (Terry) Price and Coach (Eddie) Gran, have always supported me and always been there for me.
"Lastly, I am going to miss my teammates and the Auburn fans," he added. "Auburn fans are the best in the country and playing in front of them in Jordan-Hare Stadium is second to none. I had a great experience at Auburn and will never forget it."
McClover was an Associated Press All-SEC Honorable Mention pick the last two seasons and was a coaches' first-team All-SEC selection last year.
Workouts for NFL Scouts and executives will be key for McClover, who is projected to be a late-round selection at best based on the current projections by draft experts. McClover's NFL draft project is that he could go as high as the sixth round and could be a free agent selection.
The last Auburn junior to declare for the draft was Robert Johnson, a tight end who came out after the 2002 season and was not drafted.