One after another, the Gators are losing key pieces of their defense to the NFL.
Within the last couple of months, Loucheiz Purifoy, Marcus Roberson and now Ronald Powell have decided the pros are the place for them.
Powell joins the two cornerbacks in foregoing his final year of eligibility to hit the big leagues. The defensive end/linebacker missed all of 2012 due to injury but returned strong in 2013, playing 11 games and leading the team with four sacks and eight quarterback hurries.
He is the No. 22-ranked outside linebacker prospect by WalterFootball.com.
Ronald Powell: “I want to thank the entire Gator Nation for making a kid from California a part of their family. It’s hard to put into words what this whole experience has been for me. I’ve had so many opportunities and met so many people. All of them have been supportive and helpful in my time here. Because of that, I’ve had a chance to grow and mature into the man I am today and the man I am going to become in the future. This hasn’t been an easy decision because this is a tough place to walk away from – but really you never walk away from being a Gator. I never thought it would be this hard to make this decision – most people think it’s easy – go for the money. It’s hard to leave my brothers behind, but we’ve shared so much more than our time on the field. We’ve lived our lives together, and we are truly a family. This place has so many memories that I will carry forever and I will never forget my coaches, teammates, trainers, strength staff, professors and the entire support staff that helped me during my time here. I wouldn’t trade anything I’ve experienced because they have all helped me grow. I will miss running out of the tunnel into The Swamp and all of the tradition and great rivalries. It has been an honor to be a part of Gator history and I will always represent The Gator Nation and bleed Orange and Blue. Thanks again to everyone and much love for The Gator Nation. Once a Gator, Always a Gator! Go Gators!”
Will Muschamp: “Ronald has informed me that he has made a decision to declare for the NFL Draft. This hasn’t been an easy decision for him. 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. I wish him the best of luck and, as I’ve said before, I encouraged him to return to get his degree.”
Quotes via Gatorzone
What do you think? Did Powell make the right decision?