Several Gators Looking at NFL Standing

There are a handful of Gators that are looking into their draft status for the National Football League. Although we maintain that very few will actually bypass their senior season, quite a few are taking a look to see just where they may get drafted if they decided to enter the draft. Florida strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti talked about it on Wednesday.

According to Marotti anywhere between eight and 10 players that are not seniors on the 2009 squad have decided to look at what their possible draft status might be.

"There's been a few to do the evaluation process," Marotti said. "I'm not sure when that stuff is going to come back."

Some of the bigger names on the 12-1 Gators are most likely on that list of players looking to check their status. It is just speculation at this point, but the list could include running backs Emmanuel Moody and Chris Rainey...offensive linemen Maurkice Pouncey, Michael Pouncey, and Carl Johnson...tight end Aaron Hernandez...defensive end Carlos Dunlap...defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh...linebacker A.J. Jones...cornerback Joe Haden...and safeties Ahmad Black and Major Wright.

Marotti pointed out that they are actually advising the players, if they played during the season and are eligible, to go ahead and see what comes of it.

"We're to a point if the junior played then we say go ahead and fill out your paperwork," he said. "There are some that need that information to make an informed decision."

Marotti did acknowledge that is was probably the most players asking for their status sine he arrived with Urban Meyer in 2005.

Marotti doesn't push his opinion on the players and what he believes they should do.

"Not unless they ask," he said "My approach in my position, what I'm supposed to do is get the information to them and give it to the families and let them make the decision."

The NFL is considering a rookie salary cap for the first time that may take effect for the class drafted in 2011. Therefore, there may be extra incentive for players to enter the draft this year. The staff is well aware of that and they are making sure the players make a wise but not hasty decision.

This year is going to be a lot just because of the collective bargaining deal they don't really know anything about right now," Marotti said of the possible change in salary structure for rookies.

"We've had people come in and talk on numerous occasions. Terry Jackson does a pretty good job with that because that's part of his job too. Give them the information and then they could do what they need to do."

Right now, Marotti does not know if any of the 8-10 players have made up their mind yet to enter the draft.

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Marotti is certain his troops will be ready for the Sugar Bowl matchup with Cincinnati. He will use the loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship game as motivation.

"Anytime you have failure, that's going to motivate you," he said. "Alabama had some motivation just like we had motivation against the teams we didn't do so well in 07. Maybe that whole '07 year we had motivation...not that they weren't motivated to win the game, it's the way it went, that's what happens. We have to have a great bowl game, a great off-season and go from there."


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