Chandler Jones Leaving Syracuse Orange to Enter 2012 NFL Draft

Andrew Pregler@ACPreglerContributor IIIDecember 30, 2011

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 11:  Chandler Jones #99 of the Syracuse Orange looks on during the game against the Washington Huskies on September 11, 2010 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

It is now official: Chandler Jones announced today via Twitter that he is ending his career with Syracuse to try his luck in the NFL. 

Jones garnered first team all Big East honors this season even though he missed five games with a lower body injury. Jones finished the season with 39 total tackles and led the team with 4.5 sacks.

In his return against West Virginia, Jones overwhelmed the Mountaineer line and racked up six tackles and two sacks. For his career, Jones will leave the Orange with 10.5 sacks and 148 total tackles. 

Jones' departure was expected, as he has the most upside and draft potential out of all the Syracuse underclassmen testing NFL waters. 

Doug Marrone cannot be thrilled with the news that Jones is leaving as the future of the Syacuse defense is already murky enough. Now must find a way to replace both Jones and graduated fifth year senior Mikhail Marinovich. 

Although it is painful for the Orange to watch him leave, Jones was always a class act on and off the field with one of the best personalities on the team. He will surely be missed, but will make Syracuse Football proud to call him an Orangeman.