Mizzou DE Ealy leaving early for NFL draft

The Associated Press
Mizzou DE Ealy leaving early for NFL draft
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Missouri defensive lineman Kony Ealy (47) sacks Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf (10) during the first half of the Cotton Bowl NCAA college football game on Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy is bypassing his senior season for the NFL draft.

Ealy said Friday night after the No. 9 Tigers' 41-31 win over No. 13 Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl that he felt it was time ''to go on to the next level.''

An All-SEC pick, the 6-foot-5 Ealy had six tackles and two sacks in his final game, pushing his season total to 9 1/2 sacks.

''I love my teammates. I love my coaches,'' Ealy said. ''I've gone from a boy to a man here.''

He had 14 sacks in 38 career games for the Tigers.