CINCINNATI (AP) — Two of Cincinnati’s biggest stars are leaving early to enter the NFL draft. Cornerback Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner and running back Jerome Ford helped carry the Bearcats to the College Football Playoff in 2021.

Gardner never allowed a touchdown reception over more than 1,000 targets in three seasons. He is projected as a first-round pick.

Ford rushed for 1,319 yards and 19 touchdowns this season, helping lead Cincinnati to its second straight American Athletic Conference title. He had 15 carries for 77 yards in the semifinal loss.