Terrence Brown to the NFL Draft, Too

The final head count is finished: Stanford must replace three starters from this past season's excellent defense. Senior cornerback Terrence Brown has decided to try his hand with the NFL Draft in a decision that should open more opportunity for Barry Browing and Wayne Lyons.

When it came to retaining fifth-year seniors for 2013, Stanford went three for its first three announcements this past weekend. The next trio of Farm Boys, however, won't be returning. The Stanford secondary took a hit Tuesday with senior cornerback Terrence Brown's decision to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft.

Like Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo, Brown was part of the Cardinal's heralded 2009 recruiting class. He is on track to graduate in June with a degree in Science, Technology, and Society. Though the move may come as a surprise to many, inside sources have long suggested that Brown was seriously considering the jump to the professional level despite his remaining fifth year of eligibility.

"My admission to Stanford University in 2009 was a life-changing event for me... I will forever and always be a Cardinal," he said. "I feel excited to move on to the next chapter of my life."

Brown defensed 10 passes, broke up nine throws, and recorded 65 tackles on the season while lined up against the opposition's best receiver. He was undoubtedly the Cardinal's top cover cornerback, providing an excellent complement to physical true freshman Alex Carter, who specialized in run support.

Brown's impact was perhaps best measured when a concussion knocked him out of Stanford's game versus Arizona on the second defensive play from scrimmage. With Carter still acclimating to extended Division 1 playing time, the Wildcats torched the Cardinal for 491 passing yards in the Farm Boys' eventual 54-48 overtime victory.

As was the case at other defensive positions, Stanford operated a healthy rotation in the secondary that saw fellow corners Barry Browning and Wayne Lyons also enjoy time. Brown's departure should translate into more playing time for those two players as a talented secondary continues to evolve. Sophomore Ronnie Harris also made a handful of eye-opening plays in 2012. Jordan Richards and Ed Reynolds were sensational at the safety positions in 2012. They'll return along with nickel back Usua Amanam and a pair of sophomore up-and-comers: Zach Hoffpauir and Drew Madhu.

This past weekend, Stanford's defensive front seven was buoyed by the announced returns of Ben Gardner, Shayne Skov, and Trent Murphy.

Stay tuned for The Bootleg's positional development breakdowns, which will give you a detailed inside look at Stanford's progress.

David Lombardi is the Stanford Football Insider for The Bootleg and FOX Sports Next. Check him out at www.davidlombardisports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidMLombardi.

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