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Florida Losing Three Defenders to NFL

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GAINESVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 01: Loucheiz Purifoy #15 of the Florida Gators in action during the game against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

GAINESVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 01: Loucheiz Purifoy #15 of the Florida Gators in action during the game against the Bowling Green Falcons at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium on September 1, 2012 in Gainesville, Florida. (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

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GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami/AP) – The Florida Gators will lose a trio of talented defensive players to the 2014 NFL Draft.

Florida linebacker Ronald Powell is the latest to announce he was leaving school early to play in the NFL. Powell, a 6’4”, 244 pound junior from California has torn his ACL in his right knee twice, but played solid football in 2013.

He played in 11 games last season, leading the team with four sacks. He finished his college career with 84 tackles and 11 sacks.

Gators head coach Will Muschamp says “it’s been well documented the hardships he has had to overcome and he has always kept a positive attitude.”

Powell is the third Florida player to leave school early, joining cornerbacks Loucheiz Purifoy and Marcus Roberson. Defensive tackle Dominique Easley, who could have returned for another season, also turned pro.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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