Golden Gophers safety Antoine Winfield Jr. declared for the NFL Draft on Wednesday, making his announcement on Instagram.
“I dreamed of playing in the league ever since I can remember,” Winfield said. “I looked up to my dad and watched what he did and all he accomplished. Seeing what he was able to do empowers me to say: It’s my time now.”
Winfield still had two years of eligibility due to season-ending injuries in 2017 and 2018, but the redshirt sophomore will instead make his way to the NFL after leading the Gophers with 88 tackles and seven interceptions en route to Minnesota going 11-2 and beating Auburn in the New Year's Day Outback Bowl.
Winfield Jr. is the son of former Vikings and Bills All-Pro defensive back Antoine Winfield Sr., who played for the Vikings from 2004 to 2012, earning Pro Bowl honors 2008-10.