Defensive lineman Star Lotulelei made 42 total tackles with five sacks in 2012 for Utah.
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Utah's Star Lotulelei has declined an invitation to attend the NFL draft in New York.

Lotulelei issued a statement Wednesday through his agent saying he prefers to be in Utah surrounded by family and friends when his name is called. The defensive tackle was projected by some to be the top overall pick until a medical exam during the NFL combine raised questions about his heart function.

The state of Utah will still be represented at the draft. Former Brigham Young defensive end Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah plans to be in New York.

Ansah's draft stock has been rising quickly. The Ghana-born Ansah earned Most Outstanding Player honors for the South team at the Senior Bowl and is projected as a top five pick on many draft boards.

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