Florida Gators junior left tackle D.J. Humphries announced Sunday night that he would forgo his remaining eligibility and enter the 2015 NFL Draft.
“GATOR NATION This has been the best 3 years of my life,” he wrote on Twitter. “But now, I feel it’s time to move on! I’ll always be a gator for LIFE! #FairwellUF”
Humphries is the fourth Gators underclassmen to leave for the draft. Juniors defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. and running back Matt Jones and redshirt junior offensive linemen Tyler Moore are Florida players that have already decided to the program before their eligibility has expired.
The No. 2 overall prospect coming out of high school in 2012, Humphries was named UF’s permanent starter at left tackle in 2013 but only played the first seven games of the season as a knee injury derailed his campaign. He returned to that role in 2014 and steadily improved throughout this past season after rehabilitating from a high-ankle sprain that cost him two games.
There are other Gators still with a decision to make. Juniors defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard and linebacker Antonio Morrison both planned to submit their paperwork to the NFL to gauge their draft stock before making decisions. Morrison appeared to seriously injure his knee in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl on Saturday. The severity of the injury and whether that affects his decision-making process remains to be seen.
Former Florida head coach Will Muschamp repeated throughout his tenure that he would advise players to stay in school unless they were projected to be selected in the first round of the draft. Only Fowler holds such a projection heading into the 2015 draft this spring.
With Humphries now off the roster, the Gators only have eight scholarship linemen returning in 2015 as both Nolan Kelleher (back) and Drew Sarvary (post-concussion issues) are retiring from the sport due to injuries.
Redshirt senior-to-be Trip Thurman, redshirt sophomore-to-be Roderick Johnson and sophomore-to-be David Sharpe would be the leaders of the unit next season.
Florida has not confirmed or announced any draft declarations as of press time.