The Florida Gators on Friday lost their second junior cornerback to the 2014 NFL Draft as Marcus Roberson informed the program that he has decided to forego his final season of eligibility in order to play professional football.
“Marcus has informed me that he has made the decision to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL,” said Muschamp in a school release. “Marcus was part of our first recruiting class and it was a pleasure watching him mature and develop both on and off the field during his time here. I look forward to watching him play on Sundays and, like all of our players, I encourage them to return to complete his degree.”
Roberson only played seven of 12 games in 2013, missing four games due to injury and another to suspension after committing a violation of team rules. He ended his final season at Florida with 11 solo tackles, three pass defenses and no interceptions.
His best year with the Gators came as a sophomore in 2012 when he played in 13 games, starting four. Roberson registered 23 tackles, 12 pass defenses and two interceptions. He also forced a fumble and picked up a sack.
For his efforts, Roberson was named to the 2012 All-SEC Second Team.
“I’m very thankful of everyone at Florida that helped me to get to this point in my career,” said Roberson via the school. “From Tony Meacham, my academic adviser, to Jeff Dillman to Coach Muschamp and the entire coaching staff. It’s been a great experience here and now that it is over I can truly appreciate everything that is in place here for players to be successful and have an opportunity to play at the next level.”
Roberson joins fellow junior cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy as the only two underclassmen thus far to leave Florida for the draft. Both were projected as first-round selections before the season but have seen their stock dip after the 2013 campaign.
Purifoy has been praised for his athleticism and ability to help on special teams but criticized for his technique as a cornerback, which evaluators believe he needs to improve. The primary concerns with Roberson are his injury history, lack of field time this past season and substandard production when he did play.