In what came as a surprise announcement, junior cornerback Asher Allen announced Tuesday that he's leaving [/tm]Georgia[/tm] a year early to apply for the NFL Draft.
"There's a risk leaving and there was a risk staying," Allen said. "It was just a matter of what felt right."
Allen, who made the announcement via a teleconference with reporters, is projected by most NFL Draft experts to fall somewhere in the third or fourth rounds, although the former Tucker star is shooting higher than that.
"That's the goal, to go on the first day" Allen said. "A lot is going to depend on how I do at the (NFL) Combine and how I do during my workouts for the coaches."
Allen started all 13 games for the Bulldogs last season recording 53 tackles with a team-leading seven pass break-ups. He was named as one of 20 finalists for the Lott Trophy and one of 13 semifinalists for the Jim Thorpe Award.
He made a season-high nine tackles in the Capital One Bowl victory over Michigan State.
Allen said the decision was the hardest one he's ever had to make his life.
"It really was," Allen said. "The last three weeks I had been walking around, losing sleep, trying to decide what I was going to do. It was hard. But basically, it's a decision I made for me and my family and that's the reason I'm doing this."
With Allen gone, Georgia's secondary will indeed have a new look in 2009. Prince Miller will return as the starter at wide corner with rising sophomore Brandon Boykin expected to get the first opportunity to replace Allen at the short corner position.
Allen said he leaves the Bulldog program with the blessing of head coach Mark Richt and defensive coordinator Willie Martinez.
"Coach Martinez has been like a second father to me," Allen said. "He told me he understood."
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