The NFL Draft is hours away, and on Thursday several former Florida athletes will hope to hear their name called in the first-round.
All-America corner Vernon Hargreaves III and safety Keanu Neal will be in attendance in Chicago, and are expected to be taken in the opening round, however, Jonathan Bullard, Antonio Morrison, Demarcus Robinson, Kelvin Taylor, Alex McCalister, Jake McGee and Brian Poole have all entered the draft as well. McElwain, who spoke to the media ahead of speaking to Gator Club functions in Fort Myers and in Tampa, told reporters that he is very proud of the men, who are taking the next step in their future.
"The group of guys coming out, I can’t tell you how excited I am to see them fulfill their dreams," said McElwain. "That is a group that is very skilled and very talented, but more importantly it’s a group that had a lot to do with changing the way our locker room thought. They really invested in not so much the ‘I’ and ‘Me” and that kind of stuff, but really invested in the ‘Us’ and ‘We’. Some of those guys are going to be sorely missed."
Hargreaves has spoken to plenty of NFL teams across the country. However, after the Tampa native chose to remain in-state for college, he could again remain in-state in the NFL, since the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are heavily in the picture.
"That would be awesome for him," said McElwain. "Playing here and obviously being a Gator. I think it’s just great and yet wherever he goes I know he is going to be successful. The guy is a very talented guy and did a lot of good things for our football team."
At the end of the day for McElwain, he is proud of all his seniors, not just those who will hear their names called the next few days.
"I love this time of year, I think it’s great," he added. "We also had a bunch of guys graduate that are also going to fulfill their dreams.There’s a lot more to it than just the NFL Draft and there are a lot of successful Gators out there that got their starts because of their degrees from the University of Florida."