Florida CB Joe Haden declares for NFL Draft
"This was a tough decision, and I spent a lot of time with my family talking about it,'' Haden said. "I'm so proud that I had a chance to be a Gator. It's been one of the best experiences of my life. Coach (Urban) Meyer and coach (Vance) Bedford have helped me in so many ways. I'll always be thankful to them for everything, and I know I'll never forget the fans in Gator Nation.''
Haden, who transformed himself from a high school quarterback into one of the premier cornerbacks in the nation, was a consensus first-team All-American this season and a finalist for the Thorpe Award, given to the nation's top defensive back. He was also a first-team All-SEC selection by both the coaches and the AP.
Haden led the Gators with four interceptions, and had 68 tackles (five for loss), three sacks, 10 pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
"We're sad to see Joe go because he's a great leader and a dynamic player,'' UF interim head coach Steve Addazio said."But we know that with his tremendous talent, he will be a special player at the next level. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for Joe, and we wish him nothing but the best.''