Matt Elam, Sharrif Floyd declare for 2013 NFL Draft

By Adam Silverstein
January 3, 2013

Florida Gators juniors safety Matt Elam and defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd officially declared for the 2013 NFL Draft on Wednesday while in the locker room following their team’s crushing loss to the Louisville Cardinals in the 2013 Sugar Bowl.

According to media members on site at the game, both players said they had their minds made up while junior defensive end Dominique Easley and redshirt junior tight end Jordan Reed each said they were undecided. Redshirt junior Will linebacker Jelani Jenkins is expected to remain with the team for his senior season.

Elam and Floyd will be the first Gators underclassmen to be selected by professional teams since Florida had five juniors go in the first 113 picks of the 2010 NFL Draft. Safety Will Hill left early in 2011 but went undrafted. Both players are potential first-round selections with Floyd the likeliest to go in the first 32 picks.

Second on the team in tackles with 76, Elam registered two sacks on the season and 11 total tackles for loss. He also had a team-high four interceptions and was easily the best playmaker in the Gators’ defensive backfield.

“It’s time to take care of the family,” Elam said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. “[Playing in the NFL] was a dream. It was a goal. It’s a dream come true. … It’s been a great three years. I wish we could finish it better.”

Floyd, moved to his natural position on the interior of the defensive line, finished the campaign with 46 tackles including a team-high 13 for lost yardage. He also registered three sacks, six quarterback hurries, a forced fumble and two blocked kicks.

“This game made me focus on what I wanted to do,” Floyd said per the paper. “All my focus was on my team and on the season and on this game. Now it’s time to move. I got the blessings from my coaches. They felt it was best for me.”

OGGOA will update this story shortly.


  1. BD Swingin' says:

    Dumb, just dumb of both guys. The NFL can wait, there is much more to play for if you return for your senior seasons.

    • gatorboi352 says:

      Not so much that as…. why announce it 10 minutes after a blow out loss in the locker room? I always liked Elam’s game but personality wise he’s always come off Will Hill-ish to me.

  2. Walt P says:

    Wish these guys the best of luck. Go Gators

  3. SJ210 says:

    Can’t fault these two since they are very likely to be first round picks – if that’s the case they should go pro. Both were outstanding players for us from day one of their careers. Looking forward to watching them in the NFL.

  4. G2 says:

    I agree. These guys haven’t won anything really. This year was great, won some big games but no championships. Floyd maybe if its a financial thing. Elam’s not going that high, got my doubts for him at the next level. They could all come back and we would be a legit NC contender. We won’t get to the elite level unless we can keep our best seniors on board.
    We took 2 steps back with that game last night. Out coached, out played, very sloppy….flashback to the Brantly years.

  5. TebowJax says:

    Hey, school will always be there later. The money and ability to play int eh NFL will not. I’m glad we had them while we did, and they performed so well for us. Good luck, and Go Gators!

  6. MAR says:

    Elam hits hard, but doesn’t cover well. It showed last night. Watkins and Purifoy are over rated as pass defenders also.

  7. Sroode21 says:

    Who’s to say weather they should stay or go, they have a choice to make and do what’s best for there families. Gook luck and Go Gators!!!!

  8. g8ter27 says:

    Those two should go, money is there and school will always be there. If any others go I think they make a mistake.

    • Ken (CA) says:

      football is such a short career span and much higher chance of career ending injuries than other sports, I certainly can’t blame them for taking the money while they can. Sure would like to see them 1 more year, though.

  9. Ken (CA) says:

    For what it’s worth, those banging on Elam, he is the #1 rated junior at his position on Kiper’s big board. Not really surprising they should go although I had heard somewhere that Floyd and Easley and Powell all had come in together and all wanted to go out together, and I can’t see Powell leaving after redshirting this year.

    Adam, is Brisett another one of those expected to transfer? Also, did we finally run out of crofeet, or have we got another one on tap to keep up the tradition?

  10. eman17 says:

    Floyd and Elam should go..

    Easley and Reed should play another year

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