University of Florida

Two Florida Gators juniors and former South Florida stars declare for 2019 NFL Draft

And two more Florida Gators juniors — and former South Florida high school standouts — are heading to the NFL.

Linebacker Vosean Joseph and running back Jordan Scarlett both announced Wednesday that they are skipping their senior seasons and declaring for the 2019 NFL Draft. Joseph was a former starter at Miami Norland High. Scarlett played his prep career at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.

Joseph played in all 37 games of his UF career and recorded 161 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and four sacks in that span. He led the Gators with 93 tackles in his final season and also tallied nine tackles for loss, four pass breakups and a quarterback hurry.

“Over the last three years, I’ve developed so much as a player but even more so as a person, and things like that is what makes me appreciate the University of Florida so much more,” Joseph wrote in his goodbye letter to Gator Nation on Twitter. “... I’m a Gator for life and I’ll be back to watch my boys ball out in the years to come and to finish my degree down the road.”

Scarlett, meanwhile, finishes his UF career with 1,846 rushing yards and 12 rushing touchdowns over 35 career games. A redshirt junior, he did not play in the 2017 season while serving a year-long suspension along with eight other teammates while being investigated for credit card fraud.

First-year UF head coach Dan Mullen gave Scarlett a second chance this year, and the Fort Lauderdale native made the most of it. He ran for 777 yards and 5 touchdowns this year while splitting carries with Lamical Perine and Dameon Pierce.

“I feel this decision is in my best interest for my future and I have been so fortunate for the undeniable opportunity to live out my childhood dream and play in the National Football League,” Scarlett wrote in a message posted on his Instagram page. “”I was truly blessed with the opportunity to be a student athlete at such a prestigious university and I will be forever grateful.Tthe relationships I have built over the years were priceless and memories I made will last forever.”

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Joseph and Scarlett are the fourth and fifth Florida juniors to announce he is going pro, joining offensive lineman Jawaan Taylor, safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson and defensive lineman Jachai Polite.

Players have until Jan. 14 to declare for the NFL Draft.

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Jordan McPherson covers the Miami Marlins and high school sports for the Miami Herald. He attended the University of Florida and covered the Gators athletic program for five years before joining the Herald staff in December 2017.