Florida star Zachary Carter declares for 2022 NFL Draft, will skip 2021 Gasparilla Bowl

By Adam Silverstein
December 10, 2021
Florida star Zachary Carter declares for 2022 NFL Draft, will skip 2021 Gasparilla Bowl

Image Credit: UAA

Florida Gators redshirt senior defensive lineman Zachary Carter on Friday formally declared for the 2022 NFL Draft. Carter announced that he will not play in the 2021 Gasparilla Bowl in order to concentrate on his professional future.

“I want to thank the whole Florida staff for helping me grow as a man, on and off the field,” Carter wrote. “… I want to thank the entire Gator nation for the love over the last 5 years. I will cherish my time spent here forever and I will always be a Gator 4L! I came into The Swamp as a boy and I am leaving as a man. More importantly, I want to thank my teammates for sticking together through all of the adversity we’ve been through. It was not a year we expected to have, but we stayed solid through thick and thin. I love y’all boys and we will forever be locked in! I know you will bring the Gator Standard back to where it should be.”

Carter (6-foot-4, 285 pounds) had an outstanding season for Florida, starting all 12 games at defensive tackle. He had eight sacks and 11 tackles for loss, standing as an absolute menace for opposing quarterbacks on nearly every snap.

Though Carter was overlooked for postseason awards, that does not diminish his contributions to the Gators. He was arguably the most consistent player throughout the season and a force to be reckoned with defensively even when Florida was facing great adveristy.

Carter is the first UF player to declare for the NFL Draft but the third starter with eligibility remaining to announce they will not return to the team next season. Redshirt junior wide receiver Jacob Copeland and junior linebacker Mohamoud Diabate both entered the transfer portal this week.

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