Florida Gators linebacker Ronald Powell will forego his senior season and declare for the 2014 NFL Draft. Powell, the No. 5-rated junior outside linebacker by NFLDraftScout.com, is the Gators' third junior to enter this year's draft, following cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson. Senior defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who tore an ACL and medial meniscus during the 2013 season, also decided to enter the draft rather than seeking a medical redshirt. Powell started eight games in 2013 and led the team with four sacks after missing all of 2012 with an ACL tear. He brings the list of underclassmen expected to make the jump to the NFL to 63, on pace to shatter the previous record of 73 set just last year. Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to officially declare for this year's draft. "Ronald has informed me that he has made a decision to declare for the NFL Draft," Gators coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. "This hasn't been an easy decision for him. I talked to him several times over the holidays, but it was important for him to come back and look me in the eye and tell me what he wanted to do and why he wanted to do it. It's one of the great experiences as a coach to watch young players mature. It's been well documented the hardships he has had to overcome and he has always kept a positive attitude. I wish him the best of luck and, as I've said before, I encouraged him to return to get his degree." Powell, a highly-recruited California native, came to Florida under then-coach Urban Meyer. He has 84 tackles, 19 for loss and 11 sacks over three seasons.
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Gators LB Ronald Powell entering draft
CBS Sports | Jan 6