Tennessee LB Mayo To Turn Pro

Had 140 while starting all 13 games for Vols

Jan. 9, 2008

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Tennessee linebacker Jerod Mayo will give up his senior season to enter the NFL draft, it was reported Wednesday.

The leader of Tennessee's defense, Mayo paced the Southeastern Conference in tackles in 2007 with 140 while starting all 13 games for the Volunteers. He also recorded 8 1/2 tackles for losses, 1 1/2 sacks and an interception.

According to the newspaper, Mayo is projected as a second- or third-round pick in the draft.

"My experience here at Tennessee has been a roller coaster ride but I wouldn't change anything," he said. "The coaching staff has been behind me 100 percent." Mayo, who already has his degree from Tennessee, was particularly dominant down the stretch, averaging 15 1/2 tackles in the Volunteers' last four regular-season games.

His best performance was a 19-tackle effort in Tennessee's 52-50 four-overtime victory over Kentucky that clinched the SEC's East Divisin title.

"I feel like I'm in a blessed and fortunate situation to be able to make this decision," Mayo added. "I have my degree from UT, and that was important to my family, first and foremost." Tennessee dropped to 4-3 after a 41-17 loss at Alabama, but the Volunteers won their final five games to capture the SEC East.

Tennessee lost to eventual national champion Louisiana State, 21-14, in the SEC title game but rebounded to defeat Wisconsin, 21-17, in the Outback Bowl.