Auburn returned one half of its standout safety duo when Smoke Monday announced he would play his senior season, but the other is off to the NFL.
Jamien Sherwood announced through social media Saturday he will forgo his senior season and enter his name in the 2021 draft pool.
"To all my brothers at Auburn, thank you for the laughs and memories we shared. Nothing will ever compare and I hope they will continue forever," Sherwood wrote. "You made this decision harder for me. I will forever love Auburn and it will always hold a special place in my heart."
Sherwood finished third on the team with 75 tackles in 2020, his first as a full-time starter after spending his first two seasons as a regular contributor behind Daniel Thomas and Jeremiah Dinson. He also chipped in three tackles for loss (including one sack) and three pass breakups.
The former four-star recruit from Jensen Beach, Florida, finishes his career with 141 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, 12 pass breakups and three fumble recoveries.
"He has average reactive athleticism, evidenced in his agility in coverage and movement skills," The Draft Network wrote in its evaluation of Sherwood. "He's a physical run defender who is a good tackler in confined areas. He has some pop in his hip as a tackler and is heavy at the point of attack. Sherwood is a good communicator on the back end and appears to have good command of their scheme.
"He projects with good core special teams upside in the NFL due to his size and tackling ability. On (third) downs he's an ideal fit as the 'Money' linebacker on the second level in sub-packages."
Auburn will have to replace both Sherwood and senior Jordyn Peters, who has also begun preparations for the NFL Draft. The name to watch as a potential starter next to Monday is that of former four-star recruit Chris Thompson Jr., who was the fourth man at safety as a freshman in 2020.