Darvin Adams, a 21-year-old junior, has submitted his name for this April's NFL draft. Adams made himself eligible prior to the Jan. 15 deadline for underclassmen to declare but made no formal announcement.
Adams joins quarterback Cam Newton and defensive tackle Nick Fairley in leaving school a year early to enter the pros. He is projected to go in the late rounds of a draft flush with quality receivers.
The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Adams, who is originally from Canton, Miss., but played at Harrison High in Kennesaw, Ga., was the Tigers' top receiving threat each of the last two years.
He finished his Auburn career third on the school's career receiving touchdowns list (17), sixth in receptions (115) and sixth in yards (1,978).
After a quiet freshman season, Adams thrived his sophomore year in 2009 after Gus Malzahn became offensive coordinator. With Chris Todd as quarterback, Adams set the school's single-season record for receptions with 60. He finished with 997 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
He earned MVP honors in the Outback Bowl by catching 12 catches for a bowl-record 142 yards.
With the Tigers more focused on the run this season, Adams' number took a slight step back his junior year, but not much. He finished with 52 catches for 963 yards and seven touchdowns.
He again saved one of his best games for the biggest stage, catching seven passes for a SEC championship game-record 217 yards — all in the first half — against South Carolina in the Georgia Dome. He caught two touchdowns, one coming on a tipped 51-yard Hail Mary just before halftime, to be named the game's MVP.
Adams' departure means Auburn will lose its top two receiving threats from last season. Adams and senior Terrell Zachery accounted for 95 of Auburn's 194 receptions (49 percent) and 1,568 of the Tigers' 3,002 receiving yards (52 percent).
Rising junior Emory Blake is the team's leading returner at receiver, with 33 catches for eight touchdowns in 2010.
A group of receivers are expected to see increased time in Adams' absence, including junior DeAngelo Benton, senior Quindarius Carr and redshirt freshman Trovon Reed. Those three caught four passes for 118 yards last season.