Updated:ATHENS, Ga. - University of Georgia junior linebacker Justin Houston has decided to forego his senior season and enter the 2011 NFL draft.
"I want to thank the University of Georgia and the coaches for giving me the chance to come to UGA," said Houston. "Without Coach Mark Richt, I would not be where I am today. He has helped me grow from a boy to a grown man during my four years. It was a very hard decision to make but in the end, I had to do what's best for my family and me. Thanks to all of the fans who were behind us the whole time I was in Athens."
"Justin is a great person and great player and we'll miss him," said UGA head coach Mark Richt. "He's been an integral part of our team the past three years. We wish him nothing but the best as he moves into this next phase of his football career and I'm certain he'll be successful."
Houston, a Butkus Award and Nagurski Award finalist, was the team's third leading tackler in 2010 with 67 tackles. He also was second in the Southeastern Conference in sacks with 10 (average .77 per game). For his career, he recorded 125 total tackles, 20 sacks and 38 tackles for loss. His 20 sacks ranks seventh in the Georgia record-book.
~ Georgia Sports Communications