Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Leo Chenal entering NFL draft

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin linebacker Leo Chenal is entering the NFL draft rather than returning to the Badgers next season.

Chenal announced his decision Monday on social media. The move comes after Chenal earned second-team honors on The Associated Press All-America team as a junior.

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. has Chenal as the No. 7 linebacker on his most recent big board for the 2022 draft.

"Badger Nation, I can't thank you enough for the support!" Chenal said in his social media post. "I know you'll be behind me on this next journey as well!"

Chenal was the leading tackler for a Wisconsin defense that allowed the fewest yards per game of any Football Bowl Subdivision team this season.

He had 115 tackles and 18½ tackles to rank first on his team in both categories -- despite missing the Badgers' first two games because of COVID-19. Chenal also recorded eight sacks to rank second on the team.

Wisconsin (9-4) closed its season Thursday by beating Arizona State 20-13 in the Las Vegas Bowl.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.