Sunday April 28, 2013Six Gators Sign as Undrafted Free Agents Following Draft
Following the conclusion of the 2013 NFL Draft, six former Florida football players signed as undrafted free agents. In addition, eight Gators were selected in the Draft, giving UF a total of 14 players who will have the opportunity to pursue a career in the NFL.
Wide receiver Frankie Hammond, Jr., agreed to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, wide receiver Omarius Hines with the Baltimore Ravens, defensive tackle Omar Hunter with the Pittsburgh Steelers, linebacker Lerentee McCray with the Denver Broncos, offensive lineman Xavier Nixon with the Washington Redskins and defensive end Earl Okine with the Houston Texans.
Hammond appeared in 48 games as a Gator while starting 19 of those games. He had 63 catches for 809 yards and six touchdowns in his career. Hammond played in every game during his final season on campus. In 12 of Florida’s 13 games, he caught at least one pass. He finished with 22 receptions in 2012 for 295 yards and scored three touchdowns. He hauled in the longest and third-longest reception for UF in 2012 and caught a career-long 75-yard pass for a touchdown at Tennessee.
Hines appeared in 51 games as a Gator with nine total starts. He totaled 61 receptions in his career for 767 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 323 yards on 31 carries (10.1 avg.) and four touchdowns. His 323 career rushing yards is third-most in school history by a wide receiver, trailing only Percy Harvin (1.852 yards) and Wes Chandler (356 yards). In 2012 he recorded 242 yards on 20 catches and 159 yards on 20 carries and scored two touchdowns.
Hunter saw action in 56 games at UF during his career, starting 31 of those contests. He collected 111 tackles, 55 solo and 56 assisted, 11.0 TFL, a sack, five pass breakups, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a blocked field goal. Hunter was named to the 2009 SEC All-Freshman Team (DL by vote of the league’s head coaches. He was also a 2009 CollegeFootballNews.com Second-Team Freshman All-American. In 2012, he started all 13 games at nose tackle and had his best season, tallying a career-high 40 tackles, 4.0 TFL and four pass breakups. Hunter was the second-leading tackler among defensive linemen. His career-high eight tackles in one game came against Kentucky, which earned him SEC Defensive Lineman of the Week.
McCray appeared in 42 games for the Gators, making 17 starts. He had 65 tackles (40 solo, 25 unassisted), 12.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks, one interception, four pass breakups, three forced fumbles, two quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery in his collegiate career. McCray started 12 games for the Gators in 2012, only missing one game due to injury. He tallied 25 tackles on the year (14 unassisted) with 4.5 TFL (3.0 sacks), one interception, and one fumble recovery. The Dunnellon, Fla. native also had one pass breakup, two quarterback hurries, and one forced fumble.
Nixon played in 46 games with 33 starts in his four-year career at the University of Florida. He became the first true freshman to start at left tackle at UF since Reggie Green in 1992 and the last true freshman to start at either tackle since Mo Collins in 1995. This past season, Nixon started and played in 11 games at left tackle, including eight consecutive starts. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-SEC Third Team for the 2012 season.
Okine saw action in 41 games as a member of the University of Florida football team. He recorded 27 tackles, 2.5 TFL, one sack, one blocked field goal, and a pass breakup in his four years on campus. This past year, the Gainesville, Fla. native played in every game for the Gators. He had 12 tackles, 0.5 TFL, and one blocked field goal.
Gators in the 2013 NFL Draft
DL Sharrif Floyd, Minnesota – 1st Round, 23rd Overall
S Matt Elam, Baltimore – 1st Round, 32nd Overall
LB Jon Bostic, Chicago – 2nd Round, 50th Overall
TE Jordan Reed, Washington – 3rd Round, 85th Overall
LB Jelani Jenkins, Miami – 4th Round, 104th Overall
RB Mike Gillislee, Miami – 5th Round, 164th Overall
K Caleb Sturgis, Miami – 5th Round, 166th Overall
S Josh Evans, Jacksonville – 6th Round, 169th Overall
UNDRAFTED FREE AGENTS
WR Frankie Hammond, Jr., Kansas City Chiefs
WR Omarius Hines, Baltimore Ravens
DL Omar Hunter, Pittsburgh Steelers
LB Lerentee McCray, Denver Broncos
OL Xavier Nixon, Washington Redskins
DL Earl Okine, Houston Texans