AUBURN — Two more veteran defensive players for Auburn are heading to the pros, with senior captain Owen Pappoe and senior defensive lineman Marquis Burks both declaring for the draft. 

Pappoe, one of Auburn’s top recruits from the 2019 class, declared on Tuesday night with an announcement on his Twitter account while Burks made a similar announcement Wednesday afternoon. 

“To my Auburn Family, these last four years have been nothing short of amazing. I appreciate every single one of you for your endless support and words of encouragement,” Pappoe said in his post. “Thank you to all of my teammates over these past four years for pushing me to be the best version of myself every single day.”

Pappoe has been a three-year starter for Auburn, and while injuries derailed his junior campaign, he has eclipsed 90 tackles in each of his last two full seasons on the Plains, including 93 tackles in the 2020 season.

This past year, Pappoe was a leader of a struggling defense that rallied down the stretch and the senior captain racked up 91 tackles, three tackles for loss, two sacks and an interception in the Iron Bowl. Pappoe leaves the Plains with 256 career tackles and eight sacks.

According to ESPN, Pappoe is the No. 9 linebacker in the 2023 class. 

“I would first like to thank the Auburn family for the everlasting memories from my first time stepping on campus, to graduation day, to the last time I put on an Auburn uniform,” Burks said. “Lastly, but never least, thank you to my brothers for pushing me harder every day, this brotherhood is unmatched and will last a lifetime.”

Marquis Burks came to Auburn in 2020 as the No. 4 JUCO prospect according to 247Sports and has been a three-year rotational player along the defensive front. He finished this year with 13 tackles and is Auburn’s third defensive lineman heading to the draft. 

Don't miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.