New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - A pair of key members of Florida's prominent defense are about to test the professional waters, with both tackle Sharrif Floyd and safety Matt Elam announcing that they will skip their senior seasons and apply for the 2013 NFL Draft.
Both players revealed their intention following Florida's 33-23 loss to Louisville in Wednesday's Sugar Bowl.
Floyd, regarded as one of the top defensive line prospects in this year's class, earned first team All-Southeastern Conference honors in 2012 and finished the season with a team-high 13 tackles for loss along with three sacks and 46 total stops. The 6-foot-3, 303-pounder racked up five tackles and a pair of sacks in the Sugar Bowl.
Elam was named a first team All-American this past season and ended his junior campaign with an 11-tackle, one-sack effort against the Cardinals. The Florida native recorded 76 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and a team-best four interceptions for the year.
"I wish it could have finished better, but I've had a great three years and now I've been told I have a great opportunity to play in the pros," said Elam after Wednesday's defeat. "It's a dream of mine to play in the NFL."
The two players helped the third-ranked Gators lead the nation in pass efficiency defense heading into the bowl season. Florida also entered Wednesday's game ranked third in scoring defense, fifth in total defense and sixth against the run.