The junior announced via social media on Thursday that he will forego his final year of eligibility, declaring for the NFL Draft.
He’s the fourth Owl in two years to leave early. Last year running backs Devin Singletary and Kerrith Whyte, along with wide receiver Jovon Durante, all turned pro despite having one year of eligibility remaining.
Singeltary and Whyte were both drafted. Durante did not play last season.
Pierre originally signed with Syracuse out of Deerfield Beach but never made it to the Empire State.
A starter for most of his three seasons as an Owl, Pierre didn’t amass impressive interception totals in large part because quarterbacks never threw his way. His three interceptions this season were a career high.
A smooth, fast cover corner, Pierre also isn’t afraid to deliver a blow, the junior recorded 44 tackles, with 4.5 going for loss, in 2019.
Pierre’s departure will leave the Owls without their two starting corners heading into 2020. Chris Tooley exhausted his eligibility.
All-Conference USA corner Meiko Dotson, who is tied for the lead nationally with nine interceptions, said prior to FAU’s Boca Raton Bowl victory that he was leaning toward returning to the Owls but had yet to make up his mind.
Dotson started one game last season for the Owls.
Should Dotson also turn pro, redshirt junior Korel Smith, who missed most of the season with multiple injuries, would be the only returning outside corner with significant experience – and much of that came at nickel.
FAU recently completed its second 11-3 season in three years, both of which included Conference USA championships and Boca Raton Bowl titles. Coach Lane Kiffin left for Mississippi prior to the Boca Bowl, and defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer moved to USF shortly after the Boca Bowl win.
Spencer took cornerbacks coach Jason Jones and safeties coach Wes Neighbors with him.
FAU hired Willie Taggart to replace Kiffin, who in turn hired Jim Leavitt as defensive coordinator.