South Carolina sophomore wide receiver Tori Gurley is forfeiting his final two years of eligibility and will enter this year’s NFL Draft, he told ESPN.com on Sunday.
“This was the most difficult decision of my life for many reasons,” Gurley told the website. “My years at the University of South Carolina were the best years of my life. I fulfilled a lifelong dream to play under a Hall of Fame coach in Steve Spurrier and being a part of the Gamecock nation. I will forever be grateful to Coach Spurrier for my significant development as a player and a person and giving me the opportunity to play for him and to fulfill my dream of pursuing a career in the NFL.”
Gurley also confirmed the news on these Facebook messages on Sunday: "Yes. It's official that I am Turning Pro!!! Thank you Gamecock Nation and Coach Spurrier & Spurrier Jr for giving me this oppurtunity. ... Just wanted to thank all the Gamecock fans for your support and May God Bless you and my fellow teammates!!! Go Cocks!!!"
Gurley set a single-game South Carolina record with 14 catches against Vanderbilt this season and finished the year with 44 catches for 465 yards. He had 75 catches and 905 yards in his two-career Gamecock career.
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Gurley, 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, is eligible to enter the draft because he is at least three years removed from his high school graduation. He left Rock Hill High School in 2006, spent the 2007 season at prep school and then redshirted at South Carolina in 2008.
Gurley was one of “eight or nine” South Carolina underclassmen to ask the NFL’s underclassman advisory board for their potential draft status, head coach Steve Spurrier said.
“We are hoping when their report comes back, it’s unlikely they’ll be first or second round picks, that they will understand that they should continue and try to graduate and play another year,” he said. “We are hoping they are smart enough to do that.”
Gurley isn’t expected to be drafted in the first two rounds.