"I was told I am projected as a first-round pick," Harvey said. "It's time for a change. I just told my coaches."
Harvey, 6-5 and 250 pounds,
is ranked No. 9 overall (and No. 2 at his position) by ESPN Scouts, Inc..
"Derrick has informed the coaching staff of his decision to
enter the NFL draft," Gators coach Urban Meyer said in a statement
Thursday. "We appreciate his effort and dedication to the Gator
program and we wish him the best of luck."
Harvey's mother, Kim Harvey-Gaston, had anticipated a decision would be made Thursday regarding his playing future.
"Money was not the issue at hand," she told Florida Today. "He had his own goals and things he wanted to accomplish before he goes pro. . . . He felt like he wasn't ready last year. We let him make the decision, but we stand by him on his decision. We back him up as we always do."
Harvey-Gaston said her son had purchased insurance against injury this season. Harvey had two sacks and eight total tackles in Tuesday's Capital One Bowl loss to Michigan.
ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad contributed to this report.