According to the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser, the Florida Gators are preparing for a pair of juniors – defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and safety Matt Elam – to declare for the 2013 NFL Draft but are also expecting to keep at least two other prominent third-year players.
Two sources told the paper that “[junior defensive end] Dominique Easley and [redshirt junior Will linebacker] Jelani Jenkins are coming back for their senior seasons.”
Floyd and Elam have long been considered the two likeliest juniors to turn pro after the 2013 Sugar Bowl as each is expected to be selected in the first or second round.
The Gainesville Sun‘s Pat Dooley reported on Dec. 10 that “Floyd is gone.”
Sources close to Elam have told OGGOA throughout the season that his brother, Kansas City Chiefs safety Abram Elam, will play a big part in helping decide his future. Abram has told Matt in the past that he would prefer that he stay in school unless he assured of being a first-round selection.
Easley and Jenkins may be joined for one more year of college football by redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed, who remains a “wildcard,” according to Lieser.
Dooley also reported in early December that Floyd, Elam, Jenkins and Reed submitted paperwork to be evaluated for the NFL Draft. Easley did not.
Floyd, Elam and Easley all deflected questions about their respective futures during media opportunities this week in New Orleans, LA.
The Gators have not had an underclassman declare for and get selected in the draft since cornerback Joe Haden, center Maurkice Pouncey, DE Carlos Dunlap, S Major Wright and TE Aaron Hernandez were all chosen in the first 113 picks of the 2010 NFL Draft. S Will Hill left early but went undrafted in 2011.