UCF receiver Javon Baker declares for NFL draft

UCF receiver Javon Baker declares for NFL draft

UCF receiver Javon Baker is taking the next step in his football career, declaring for the upcoming NFL draft.

Baker, who previously indicated he was returning to the program in 2024, announced his decision on social media.

“I would like to begin by saying thank you to the passionate UCF fans, Coach [Gus] Malzahn and all the coaches, along with the NIL team at The Kingdom for making the past two years unforgettable for my family and me,” Baker said in a post on Instagram. “The Bounce House has some of the most devoted college football fans anywhere.

“After careful consideration and discussions, I have decided to enter the 2024 NFL Draft and embark on the next phase of my journey.”

Baker began his career at Alabama, where he totaled 116 yards on 9 catches in 19 appearances over two seasons for the Crimson Tide. He transferred to UCF for the 2022 season, leading the team in receiving yards (796) while finishing second in receptions (56).

This past season, he finished with a team-high 1,139 yards on 52 catches with 7 touchdowns. He became the first Knight with 1,000 yards in a season since Marlon Williams in 2018.

He finished with 9 catches for a season-high 173 yards and a touchdown in UCF’s loss to Georgia Tech in the Gasparilla Bowl on Dec. 22.

Baker’s departure opens the door for Kobe Hudson to assume the top spot among the receivers. Hudson was second in receiving yards (900) and receptions (44) with 8 touchdowns. He already declared his intention to return for another year, joining running back RJ Harvey and offensive linemen Marcellus Marshall, Adrian Medley and Amari Kight.

Outside of Hudson, the Knights feature several receivers on the roster including Xavier Townsend, Trent Whittemore, Chauncey Magwood and Tyree Patterson. The unit also has several true freshmen arriving, led by several 4-star standouts in Ric’Darious Farmer, Kylan Fox, Bredell Richardson, Kason Stokes and Jordyn Bridgewater.

Darren Lawrence, who redshirted at FSU, announced he also would transfer to UCF. The receiver, who was recruited out of Sanford Seminole High by the Knights, was ranked 64th at his position in the 2023 class, according to 247Sports.

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