Pierce going pro

UF running back Dameon Pierce declared for the NFL Draft on Tuesday afternoon. Though he played four seasons with the Gators, he had another season of eligibility available to him due to the NCAA’s decision to not count the pandemic-affected 2020 season against players’ eligibility.

He finishes his college career with 329 carries for 1,806 yards and 23 touchdowns and 45 receptions for 422 yards and five scores.

Pierce, from Bainbridge, Georgia, contributed as a freshman in 2018 by carrying the ball 69 times for 424 yards and two touchdowns.

In 2019, he totaled 54 carries for 305 yards and four scores. He finished second on the team in the latter two categories.

He stepped into the role of No. 1 running back as a junior and led the team with 503 yards and four touchdowns in a pass-heavy offense.

He saved his best season for last, carrying the ball 100 times for 574 yards and 13 touchdowns and catching 19 passes for 216 yards and three scores in 2021. His 16 total touchdowns tied for the third-most in the SEC, and one of the players who scored more touchdowns than him was Alabama’s Jameson Williams, who played in two more games.

Pro Football Focus graded Pierce as the best running back in the country after the regular season despite him not touching the ball as often as many fans would have liked.

Pierce will be remembered for his powerful running style and his extreme passion for the game, which culminated in him diving headfirst into the end zone without his helmet against Florida State.

Because of the improved pass-catching ability he displayed in 2021 and his lighter workload, Pierce should hear his name called in late April.

Ethan Hughes
Ethan was born in Gainesville and has lived in the Starke, Florida, area his entire life. He played basketball for five years and knew he wanted to be a sportswriter when he was in middle school. He’s attended countless Gators athletic events since his early childhood, with baseball being his favorite sport to attend. He’s a proud 2019 graduate of the University of Florida and a 2017 graduate of Santa Fe College. He interned with the University Athletic Association’s communications department for 1 ½ years as a student and also wrote for InsideTheGators.com for two years before joining Gator Country in 2021. He is a long-suffering fan of the Jacksonville Jaguars. You can follow him on Twitter @ethanhughes97.