The Florida Gators will lose two offensive starters to the 2016 NFL Draft as juniors running back Kelvin Taylor and wide receiver Demarcus Robinson have decided to forego their final year of eligibility, head coach Jim McElwain confirmed Monday.
“Yeah,” McElwain said when asked if the players would be declaring. The coach later added that both were “doing a great job” in practice ahead of the bowl game.
Update: Following McElwain’s announcement, Robinson sent a tweet in which he said he has not declared for the NFL Draft. This story will be updated when there is a resolution to the matter.
Taylor, who has scored 13 rushing touchdowns and is approaching 1,000 yards, had a breakout season for the Gators and is likely trying to strike while the iron is hot. A low-mileage running back, Taylor has plenty of tread left on the tires and has been relatively healthy throughout his career at Florida.
Though Robinson has earned praise from McElwain for taking a big step forward maturity-wise, he has still been suspended twice this season and has now been punished four times over the course of his career. Simply put, Robinson has not been worth the headaches he’s caused the program due to what remains a lack of maturity, and though he’s blocked well throughout his career, he still has a long way to go as a receiver.
McElwain also announced that redshirt junior defensive end Alex McCalister will declare for the draft. A report Saturday noted that McCalister had been dismissed from the program for a violation of team rules.
Taylor and Robinson will both play for Florida against Michigan in the 2016 Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2016.
Though he has not officially declared, junior cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III announced following the SEC Championship Game that he is likely to continue his career in the NFL.
Photo Credit: Stephen B. Morton/Associated Press