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Florida CB Wilson, OT Sharpe leaving early for NFL draft

Florida head coach Jim McElwain is doused after a win over Iowa in the Outback Bowl NCAA college football game Monday, Jan. 2, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP )

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) Cornerback Quincy Wilson and offensive tackle David Sharpe became the first Florida players to leave school early this season and declare for the NFL draft.

Wilson and Sharpe announced their intentions Tuesday on Twitter, one day after the 20th-ranked Gators beat No. 21 Iowa 30-3 in the Outback Bowl.

Center Cam Dillard, who started eight games this season and 19 over the last two years, also announced he intends to transfer. As a graduate transfer, Dillard will be able to play elsewhere right away.

Wilson had three interceptions this season and is expected to one of the first cornerbacks taken in the NFL draft in late April. Sharpe thanked the school "for everything they've done for me and 3 years of life changing experiences."

Just a few minutes earlier, defensive back Duke Dawson announced that he will return for his senior season. Dawson called it "one of the toughest decisions in my life at this point."

The Gators (9-4) now await word from cornerback Jalen Tabor and defensive tackle Caleb Brantley. Both are expected to turn pro.

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Updated January 3, 2017

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