Florida DE/LB Ronald Powell to enter NFL draft

Monday January 6th, 2014

Ronald Powell (Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Ronald Powell had 11 sacks and 19 tackles for a loss in three seasons at Florida. (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Florida defensive end/linebacker Ronald Powell will enter the 2014 NFL Draft, the school announced on Monday.

Powell, a redshirt junior who missed all of the 2012 season after two ACL surgeries in his right knee, made only 26 tackles in 2013, but seven were for a loss. He also had four sacks and eight QB hurries.

"This hasn't been an easy decision for him," said Gators coach Will Muschamp in a statement. "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."

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Powell was the No. 1 recruit in the country in 2010, but injuries hampered his stats. The 6-foot-4, 244-pounder had six sacks and nine tackles for a loss in 2011.

The Gators were only 4-8 this season, but Powell is the third player from their defense to declare for the draft, joining cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson. SI WIRE: Report: Central Florida QB Blake Bortels to declare for draft

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