It has been nearly 20 years since it took four rounds for the first former Florida player to be selected in the NFL Draft, with defensive tackle Jaye Howard getting selected by the Seattle Seahawks with the 19th pick in the fourth round (114th overall).
The last time the Gators had to wait that long to see a former player taken in the draft was 1993, when cornerback Lawrence Hatch was taken in the sixth round (142nd overall) by the New England Patriots.
Howard was taken right around where he was projected by the team his defensive line coach last year, Dan Quinn, used to work.
“Congrats to Jaye. He worked very hard this year to put himself in this position,” Florida coach Will Muschamp said on Twitter after the selection.
During his career at Florida, Howard racked up 131 tackles, 25.5 tackles for a loss, 11.0 sacks, three fumble recoveries and two pass break-ups.
Running back Chris Rainey is the only other player projected to be taken in the 2012 NFL Draft, with most projections listing him as a fourth-round selection.
The fourth round concluded at about 2 p.m., and Rainey had still not been selected.