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Ingram to declare for draft

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Florida junior tight end Cornelius Ingram, a former top-rated high school quarterback/basketball recruit, has decided to forgo his senior year with the Gators and enter the 2008 NFL draft.

Ingram finished fourth on the team with 34 receptions for 508 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged 15 yards per catch and showed flashes of rare athleticism and pass-catching skills for his position. At 6-foot-4, 235 pounds he has been timed at faster than 4.5 seconds in the 40-yard dash and has the ability to line up in a number of positions on the field; receiver, H-back, slot and tight end.

"It was just my time," Ingram said. "My years with the Gators have been great. We won a championship, played some great games, and it has allowed me this chance now of reaching my goal of playing in the NFL."

Ingram asked the NFL advisory committee for his current draft grade before the Gators' Capital One Bowl loss to Michigan. He said that although he has not yet heard back, he expects to be a high draft pick and is hoping to run in the 4.4s for scouts.

NFL ADVISORY COMMITTEE UPDATE:

The NFL advisory committee is responsible for evaluating and returning grades to underclassmen that are considering whether to declare for the NFL draft.

According to two sources, the committee has received a total of 167 requests as of Thursday from juniors, redshirt sophomores and all others who are at least three years removed from their senior years in high school. It is expected that 35 to 50 players will opt into this year's draft.

The final date to declare is Jan. 15. Any player who has declared but not signed with an agent can return to school before Jan. 19.