If the preliminary reports are true and Urban Meyer is indeed stepping down as head coach of the University of Florida due to a heart condition, you can expect a mass exodus of underclassmen from the program to look into their own hearts and elect to leave school early.
It has been generally assumed among league insiders that defensive end Carlos Dunlap and cornerback Joe Haden would leave early. Both rank among the truly elite at their positions in the country and will likely earn a top 20 selection in the 2010 draft.
The Pouncey twins, Maurkice and Mike, have earned increasing attention from scouts. Maurkice, the recipient of the Rimington Trophy this year as the nation's top center, has been earning the higher praise from scouts than his brother, the Gators' starting right guard. Both are generating Top 100 talk, with Maurkice earning some hype among scouts as a potential first round pick as the top pure center prospect in the country.
Tight end Aaron Hernandez, at 6-2, 250 pounds, lacks the size teams prefer, but his athleticism and reliable hands make him a matchup nightmare down the seam. Some scouts feel Hernandez could leap up draft boards with a strong workout ala former Purdue receiving specialist Dustin Keller, who, of course, was drafted in the first round by the New York Jets.
The Gators could see even more turnover among their skill position should redshirt sophomore running back Chris Rainey and redshirt junior Emmanuel Moody, a USC transfer, elect to leave early, as well. Both could elect to take advantage of a relatively weak senior class of running backs.
Several other juniors have already turned in requests to the NFL Advisory Committee for grades. Among them are safeties Major Wright and Ahmad Black, offensive linemen Carl Johnson and Marcus Gilbert and defensive tackle Lawrence Marsh.