New York, NY - On the final day of the 2013 NFL Draft, four former University of Florida football players were selected, bringing UF’s total draft class to eight players, the most Gators drafted in one year since 2010, one shy of the school record for a seven round draft.
Florida had the fourth-most players selected in the 2013 NFL Draft. The Southeasthttp://www.gatorzone.com/gallery/photos/2360/Generic-Draft-Thumb.jpgern Conference had a record-breaking 63 players chosen.
“It has been a great weekend for Florida football,” head coach Will Muschamp commented. “I'm proud of all our players who had life-long dreams realized by getting drafted. They certainly have worked very hard and dedicated themselves to get to this point in their careers. I look forward to watching them and continuing to have them be a part of our program.”
Linebacker Jelani Jenkins was selected by the Miami Dolphins with the ninth pick in the fourth round, marking the first time since 1999 that two Gator linebackers were selected in the same draft.
“I’m real cool with Mike Pouncey and looking forward to being back in Florida, as well,” Jenkins said in an interview with MiamiDolphins.com.
Running back Mike Gillislee was chosen by the Dolphins with the 31st pick of the fifth round. It marked the second consecutive year that a Florida running back has been chosen in the NFL Draft and the first time since 1985-86.
“It feels good,” Gillislee stated in an interview with MiamiDolphins.com. I’m going to be closer to my family and I’m just ready to play football. It’s good weather to play football and everything.”
Two picks later, placekicker Caleb Sturgis, the first kicker chosen in the 2013 NFL Draft, joined Jenkins and Gillislee in Miami. Sturgis became the fourth placekicker in school history to be chosen in the NFL Draft and the first since Jeff Chandler was selected in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers.
“I couldn’t be more excited about staying in the state of Florida,” Sturgis said in an interview with MiamiDolphins.com. “I saw Jelani and Gillislee. That’s awesome. They’re both great dudes. I can’t wait to watch them succeed.”
Safety Josh Evans was the final Gator chosen when he was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the first pick in the sixth round. For the first time in program history, two Florida safeties were selected in the NFL Draft.
In an interview with Jacksonville Jaguars public relations Evans said, “I just want to say it’s an honor and privilege to be in this situation and be a part of a great organization like the Jaguars. I’m somebody who’s committed whether it’s special teams, defense, wherever I’m needed. I’m coming out there to make the best of my opportunity, to go out there and be able to compete.”
Jenkins, Gillislee, Sturgis, and Evans join Sharrif Floyd, Matt Elam, Jonathan Bostic, and Jordan Reed as the Gators’ 2013 NFL Draft class. Floyd and Elam were both selected in the first round. UF has had a player picked in the first round in 32 drafts, fifth-most among all schools nationally.
After the draft, Omarius Hines, Omar Hunter, and Earl Okine all were signed as undrafted free agents. Hines was signed by Baltimore, Hunter signed with Pittsburgh, and Houston signed Okine.
Gators in the 2013 NFL Draft
DL Sharrif Floyd, Minnesota – 1st Round, 23rd Overall
S Matt Elam, Baltimore – 1st Round, 32nd Overall
LB Jon Bostic, Chicago – 2nd Round, 50th Overall
TE Jordan Reed, Washington – 3rd Round, 85th Overall
LB Jelani Jenkins, Miami – 4th Round, 104th Overall
RB Mike Gillislee, Miami – 5th Round, 164th Overall
K Caleb Sturgis, Miami – 5th Round, 166th Overall
S Josh Evans, Jacksonville – 6th Round, 169th Overall