NFL opportunity still present at Florida

Dante Fowler Jr., a former five-star recruit, is projected to be a top-10 pick in this year's NFL draft. (Photo by Rob C. Witzel / Staff photographer)

Recruits consider several factors when deciding on a college, and an NFL opportunity usually ranks high in the pecking order.

By the looks of Florida’s pro day Wednesday, UF didn’t feel like a school that had gone 11-13 the past two seasons and fired its head coach.

All 32 teams were in attendance to watch 22 former Gators work out.

“This is what you hope each year,” Florida coach Jim McElwain said. “You hope you have the depth and the quality. As you see the 22 guys, there’s really some good players out there.

“At a place like the University of Florida, what it means and what the brand represents really shows when you see all these pro personnel people here and coaches working these players out.”

Despite the football program’s recent turmoil, the pro potential for players is still alive and well. McElwain said it’s motivating for his current players and a big selling point with recruits.

“You get an opportunity,” McElwain said. “You come in here and you perfect your craft, and now you’re going to be able to go show what you have in front of a lot of pro scouts.”

Later this month the Gators will have a first-round draft pick for the ninth time in the last 10 years, a stat for McElwain that appeals to any big-time prospect.

“That’s all part of it and a big part, obviously,” he said. “And yet, there’s a lot more to it, especially at a like the University of Florida and what it can do more you not just in football. You’re going to get the football exposure, but really it’s about what that Florida degree is going to do for the rest of your life.”


  1. What kind of headline is this? Opportunity STILL present? STILL?
    Dude, NFL opportunity HAS ALWAYS been present at a school like UF. ALWAYS. Even in lean years like the muschump mistake.
    OK now that I got that off my chest I feel better.
    Go Gators!

  2. he should have made the title,”still present during down years”..that wouldve made more sense but he makes it seem like uf has become an after thought in just 2years..we’ve actually had a gator in the first round every year since 08 except 12′ with 3 going in 10′ , 2 in 13′ and most likely 2 this year…GO GATORS!!!