GAINESVILLE (CBSMiami) – Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Jenkins made the announcement Monday despite missing four games this season due to a foot injury.

Jelani finished the 2012 season with 29 tackles, two sacks, and an interception. He also saved Florida’s season when he returned a blocked punt for a touchdown at the end of the game against Louisiana-Lafayette late in the season.

“Jelani informed me that he wishes to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said in a statement. “We wish him the best of luck and encourage him to return to Florida and complete his degree.”

For his career, Jenkins made 31 starts and had 182 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, and three interceptions.

Florida will be replacing a trio of star defensive players in 2013. Besides Jenkins, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and safety Matt Elam have also declared for the NFL Draft.

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