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Stanford d-lineman Solomon Thomas declares for 2017 NFL Draft

The anchor of Stanford’s defense is going pro

Oregon State v Stanford Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

Stanford star defensive lineman Solomon Thomas announced his decision to forego his final two years of eligibility and enter the 2017 NFL Draft on Wednesday.

Thomas announced his decision on Twitter, posting a thank you to Stanford:

Thomas also wrote a thank-you letter to the university, coaches, his teammates, and the Cardinal fanbase:

Since pulling out a symbolic Stanford tree and donning nerd glasses on National Signing Day in 2014, I have had the most amazing time of my life. I have grown and matured more than I ever could have imagined. I arrived at Stanford somewhat shy and uncertain; now I stand a curious, intelligent, dedicated, and motivated man who is ready to take on any challenge, including the NFL. With the support of my family, I have decided to forgo my last years of eligibility at Stanford and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

To my Stanford brothers, you all mean the world to me and I love you all. You each helped mold me into a better man. From laughing in the locker room, to sweating in the weight room, to grinding on the field -- you are the reason I have loved every second of my time here. Our collective goal to not only be the best team, but also the best individuals, connects us on another level. You are all men I look up to as role models and aspire to be like. We have a special bond at Stanford, one that I am so proud to be a part of. I'm so lucky to have you as brothers: this is the most amazing blessing in my life.

Read the rest of the post here: To My Stanford Family

Thomas, who had 13.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks this regular season, captured the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12’s best lineman and was an All-Pac-12 first team selection.

Thomas joins Christian McCaffrey as Stanford draft prospects expected to go in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft.