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Byron Young declares for draft, will play in the Orange Bowl

He’ll put on the orange and white one final time.

Alabama v Tennessee Photo by Donald Page/Getty Images

Byron Young is turning pro, but he will take part in the Orange Bowl next week against Clemson. Tennessee’s senior pass rusher officially declared for the 2023 NFL Draft on Thursday, as expected.

He also confirmed his intention to take one final ride with his teammates next week in Miami.

What a ride it has been. Thank you to Vol Nation for welcoming me with open arms to Rocky Top. From when I first stepped on campus, I made sure to give my all for Tennessee every single day and, thanks to the coaching of Coach Garner and Coach Heupel, I became the player and the man I am today.

The journey has been long and challenging, but everything happens for a reason. From my time at Dollar General to seeing a flyer to try out for Georgia Military College’s football team, every single road led me down the path I was destined for. Through it all, I learned that hard work, determination, and grit can take you wherever you want in life – you just have to work for it.

With that, I want to say that the job is not finished. I look forward to taking the field with my brothers in the Orange Bowl before declaring for the 2023 NFL Draft. I can’t wait to see Vol Nation in Miami!

Young is credited with 80 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks during his two seasons at Tennessee. NFL evaluators likely would like to see more production out of Young, but his explosiveness is exactly what teams are looking for on the edge. Young has been talked about as a day two selection.

Young will also attend the Senior Bowl in Mobile, giving him a chance to work with an NFL staff in a practice setting. But first, he’ll be tasked with getting after Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik in the Orange Bowl.

Tennessee will be without receivers Cedric Tillman and Jalin Hyatt, who made the decision to opt out of the game. The Volunteers will have right tackle Darnell Wright, who also declared for the draft but has chosen to play.

Clemson will be without future first round pick (DE) Myles Murphy. The Tigers remain about a touchdown favorite, now just a week away from kickoff.