Gators losing key players to draft, transfers

Published On: Jan 03 2013 11:19:02 AM EST
Florida Gators Football

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -

According to reports, Florida will be losing two of their best players to the NFL.

Defensive tackle Shariff Floyd and safety Matt Elam will reportedly enter the 2013 NFL draft, forgoing their senior seasons.  Both are expected to be first-round picks.

Florida safety De'Ante Saunders and offensive tackle Matt Patchan are also leaving the program.

Coach Will Muschamp announced the pending transfers Thursday after the fourth-ranked Gators landed in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

Muschamp says "I think they needed a fresh start and that's all I've got to say about it."

Saunders, a sophomore from DeLand, played in eight games this season. He had 18 tackles and an interception. Saunders played in 12 games last year, including nine starts, and finished with 26 tackles and two interceptions.

Patchan, a fourth-year junior from Tampa, has missed all season with a pectoral injury. He has played in 27 games during an injury-plagued career, including 11 games as a backup defensive tackle on Florida's 2008 national championship team.

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