Senior defensive end Jon Greenard, who has been practicing with the team in early bowl practices, confirmed Monday that he will be playing in the Orange Bowl rather than sit it out and to concentrate on getting ready for his NFL career.
“Oh yeah, I’ll be playing,” he said. “I’m definitely playing.”
After the win over FSU on Nov. 30, Greenard said he had not yet made a decision on whether to play or sit out. He’s all in now.
“A lot of factors played into it, just overall mainly health issues, making sure my body is going to be 100 percent for the game and I can give my all to my teammates at the highest level,” he said. “If I’m not able to do that, I feel like I’m really no help to the team. I’ll just be hurting myself and the other guy that could be healthy. That’s my main issue, but I’m playing.”
Greenard is bucking a recent trend where potential high NFL draft picks sit out their bowl game due to the risk of injuries.
Junior cornerback CJ Henderson announced last week that he was entering the NFL draft and would not be playing in the bowl game.
UF coach Dan Mullen said at this point, Henderson is the only draft-eligible player not planning to play in the bowl game.
“As far as I know, but we haven’t gotten the draft grades back on everybody yet,” he said. “I think there are still guys waiting on the draft grades that way. But everybody else plans on playing. We don’t play for a couple of weeks. We’ve got two weeks from today and everybody has been practicing and ready to go play.”
Mullen said five underclassmen sent paperwork into the NFL to get an idea where they would be drafted if they come out.
“You can turn five in and you petition for more with specific reasons,” Mullen said. “I talked to the guys and tried to limit it to five. So, I think it was five, but we’ll see. We did it the day after the Florida State game, like the first day possible to turn stuff in so we could get it back a soon as possible.”
Mullen assisting Franks
Mullen and his staff are working with Feleipe Franks to help the quarterback make a decision on where to further his career. Franks entered the NCAA transfer portal two weeks ago and will either transfer to another school or enter the NFL draft.
“We’re to guide him,” Mullen said. “I’m not telling him where he has to go or what he should do. Those are decisions for him, but we’re here, certainly helping him.
“Everybody that’s called, we couldn’t recommend him higher. He’s a guy that’s going to come in and not be worried. He’s played on the biggest stage, he’s got a lot of talent, he’s a tremendous leader. He’s a great team guy. So, everybody that’s called, it’s all, ‘Hey, this is a guy you want in your program.’ ”
Mullen said he’s met with Franks several times, the first time before the FSU game.
“He’s said, ‘Hey, coach, I’m not leaving because I don’t love Florida. I love to be at Florida. I want to look and explore every one of the options I have because I have potentially one year of college football left or I’d leave to go to the NFL,’ ” Mullen said.
Krull a Panther
Tight end Lucas Krull, who entered the NCAA transfer portal two weeks ago, has already found a new school.
He announced on Twitter that he is transferring to Pittsburgh, where he’s expected to have a good chance of seeing significant playing time in the final year of his college career.
Krull will remain with the Gators through the Orange Bowl, then make the move north.
Krull, the No. 2 tight end behind Kyle Pitts, caught only three passes this season for 33 yards.