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Devon Witherspoon declares for 2023 NFL Draft

The Illini’s defensive backfield is turning pro.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL NOV 19 Illinois at Michigan Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Just minutes after Sydney Brown made his announcement, Devon Witherspoon followed suit.

In a tweet Saturday afternoon, the Illini’s All-America defensive back announced his plans to declare for the 2023 NFL Draft.

Witherspoon, like Brown, said he also plans to skip Illinois’ ReliaQuest Bowl game on Jan. 2.

In his note, Witherspoon thanked former Illinois coaches Lovie Smith and Keynodo Hudson, both of whom recruited him as a no-star prospect out of Florida.

But in his time at Illinois, “Spoon” turned into one of the best defensive backs in the country. He was selected as All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation; received the Big Ten’s Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year last month; and was voted to the Big Ten’s First Team. The junior corner finished the regular season with 17 passes defended and three INTs.