GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida junior safety Major Wright (Miramar, Fla.) announced his intention to declare for the 2010 NFL Draft and forego his final year of eligibility.
"I enjoyed my time in Gainesville, they were some of the best years of my life," Wright said. "Beyond winning championships, I will take with me some great memories of personal friendships from my teammates and lessons learned from the coaching staff. I will always be a Gator and look forward to watching them play from the sidelines in the future."
"Major will be missed in our secondary and by his teammates," said head coach Urban Meyer. "He was a physical player who had a presence on the football field and was someone our players looked up to and gravitated to. They enjoyed being around him both on and off the field. We wish him the best of luck."
In his three years at UF, Wright was part of two SEC Eastern Division-winning teams, including the 2008 National and SEC Champions. He finished his collegiate career with 165 tackles, 10 passes defended, eight interceptions, four forced fumbles and a fumble recovery in 41 games played.
This past season, the 6-foot-0, 204-pound defender tied for second on the Gators with three interceptions and registered 32 tackles, 28 of which were solo. In his final appearance for the Orange and Blue, Wright notched four tackles and broke up a pass in UF's 51-24 victory over Cincinnati in the 2010 Allstate Sugar Bowl. He made a key pick in the fourth quarter at Mississippi State at the one-yard line and totaled a season-high eight tackles in the SEC Championship Game.
As a sophomore, Wright started all 14 contests, tied for second on the team with four interceptions and was third with 66 total tackles. He earned honorable mention All-Sophomore recognition from College Football News. In the BCS National Championship Game against Oklahoma, Wright collected nine tackles and also picked off a pass at the goal line from Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Sam Bradford that prevented the Sooners from scoring at the end of the first half. In the Homecoming win over Kentucky, he returned a blocked field goal 37 yards to set up a touchdown.
Wright started seven games in his freshman campaign, when he was named to the Coaches' Freshman All-SEC team and as a Second-Team Freshman All-American by Rivals.com. In addition, he earned first-team All-American honors from CollegeFootballNews.com, was a Freshman All-American Honorable Mention from Sporting News and was selected to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll. Wright ranked third on the team and first among freshmen in total tackles with 67, the fifth-highest total by any freshman in the SEC. He led the team and tied for first in the SEC in forced fumbles with four on the season, including one in back-to-back games versus Ole Miss and Auburn. No other SEC freshman was in the top 10 in that category and the four forced fumbles were the most by a Florida player since Guss Scott had five in 2003 and the most by any Florida freshman since the statistic began being kept in 1982.
The NFL Draft will be held April 22-24 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida junior defensive end Carlos Dunlap (North Charleston, S.C.) will declare for the 2010 NFL Draft.
The 6-foot-6, 290-pound defender led the Gators with nine sacks in 2009 and finishes his collegiate career tied for No. 10 on Florida's all-time sack list with 19.5.
"This took a lot of thought and prayer between me and my family, and we decided that this was the best direction for me to take," Dunlap said. "I've loved having the chance to play at Florida for Coach [Urban] Meyer, and playing for Coach Charlie Strong. I wouldn't be the person or the player I am today without them and the other coaches who have helped me along the way."
Dunlap tallied 38 tackles in 13 games this season and was a force at the line of scrimmage, recording 10.5 tackles for loss and six pass breakups. He was named All-SEC by the SEC coaches, the Associated Press and Sporting News and was a semifinalist for the Lombardi Award.
"Carlos has all of the physical tools to be successful at the next level," said Meyer. "I believe if he continues to grow and mature he will have a very long career in the NFL. He provided matchup problems for opposing teams and was a big part of our success during the last several years. We wish him the best of luck."
In his three years at UF, Dunlap was part of two SEC Eastern Division-winning teams, including the 2008 National and SEC Champions. He was the Defensive MVP of the Gators' 24-14 victory over Oklahoma in the BCS National Championship Game following the 2008 season. In 2007, Dunlap was selected to the SEC Freshman Academic Honor Roll.
Following his performance at the BCS National Championship Game, Dunlap was named Mayor for the Day in his hometown of North Charleston, S.C., on March 13, 2009, which was proclaimed Carlos Dunlap Day. As part of the festivities, Dunlap was presented a key to the city during a pep rally.
The NFL Draft will be held April 22-24 at Radio City Music Hall in New York. GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Florida junior offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey (Lakeland, Fla.) will declare for the 2010 NFL Draft, while his twin brother Mike Pouncey (Lakeland, Fla.), also a junior offensive lineman, plans to return for his senior season.
"This is one of the biggest decisions I have ever made in my life," Maurkice Pouncey said. "I am glad that my brother and I made the decision to be Gators. God gave us the knowledge, strength and ability to be great players, but it is now time for my brother and me to part ways."
"I'm very excited to come back and wear the Orange and Blue for the 2010 season," said Mike Pouncey. "I'm looking forward to being a leader on this team, having the opportunity to play center and continuing to learn from Coach Steve Addazio. It has been an honor to play here, so I can't wait to run out into The Swamp for another year."
Maurkice Pouncey tallied 40 career starts over his three seasons and was the winner of the 2009 Rimington Trophy, presented to the best center in the nation. He is the first Gator to win the award. Maurkice also garnered recognition as a first-team All-American by Walter Camp, the FWAA, Sporting News and CBSSports.com. Both Maurkice and Mike received second-team All-America and first-team All-SEC recognition from the Associated Press.
"These are two guys who we've been able to build our program around for the last several years," said head coach Urban Meyer. "They have both provided an unbelievable amount of leadership and energy to our team. These guys embody the toughness and physical style of play that we want Florida to be known for.
"We wish Maurkice the best of luck, and we're looking forward to having Mike continue to be a leader on the team and anchor our offensive line."
The Pounceys helped power the Florida offense which ranked No. 1 in the SEC in 2009 with 457.9 yards per game, including 221.8 rushing yards per game, 10th-highest in the nation.
"Maurkice has all the tools to succeed in the NFL," said Addazio. "There is no doubt in my mind that he will be a great player at the next level. I wish him nothing but the best because has been like a son to me.
"I also know that Mike has a great future ahead of him," Addazio continued. "I believe he will be the top returning offensive lineman in America. Coming back just gives him another opportunity to grow as a player and as a leader and will help him increase his positional versatility. Without question, Mike's future is very bright."
"I would like to thank my family for standing behind me in the decision that I have made and my coaches for believing in me as a true freshman and helping me achieve everything that I have as a Gator," Maurkice said. "I would like to thank all the fans for cheering us on and getting us hyped up for the games. I am going to miss the Gator walks and the Gator Nation."
The Pouncey twins started every game in the 2009 season for Florida, each earning SEC Lineman of the Week honors once this season. Both were also starters in the BCS National Championship Game following the 2008 season, in which Florida claimed the national title with a 24-14 win over Oklahoma.
The NFL Draft will be held April 22-24 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.