Moments after the Gophers declined to participate in the 2020 bowl season, Gophers cornerback Benjamin St-Juste declared for the 2021 NFL Draft.
"Thank you Minnesota!" the starting cornerback wrote on Twitter. "I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to represent the University of Minnesota."
St-Juste was a late transfer from Michigan ahead of last season, a rare graduate transfer with three years of eligibility. The Canada native quickly became one of the top players in the secondary, starting along with Coney Durr. In two seasons with the Gophers, St-Juste made 55 tackles and 12 pass breakups.
Rashod Bateman opted out for the second time a couple weeks ago, making two Gophers declared for the upcoming draft. And there might be more to come. Gophers coach P.J. Fleck has said he expects "most" of the seniors to return with their extra year of eligibility from the pandemic. Cornerback Phil Howard and receiver Clay Geary are two that have stated their intention to return. There are 17 seniors in total this season.
While one cornerback has departed, another has announced he's back for more.
Durr tweeted Sunday his intent to remain on the team for the 2021 season.
"While the NFL is my ultimate goal, I'm not ready to leave Minnesota just yet," Durr wrote on social media. "We have unfinished business."
The redshirt senior has been an All-Big Ten honorable mention two years running. This season, he made 29 tackles, five pass-breakups and an interception in the end zone at Wisconsin.