Marietta alum Torrence declares for NFL draft

Jan. 3—Florida safety Rashad Torrence II found playing time as soon as he stepped on campus in 2020.

For the last two years, the former Marietta High School standout has been a starter in the Gators' defensive backfield, and he wrapped up the 2022 season by making eight tackles against Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl last month.

Over the holiday weekend, the 6-foot, 202-pound Torrence decided to make that his final college football game.

With up to two years of eligibility remaining, he decided forego them and enter his name into the NFL draft. He made the announcement on social media.

"First and foremost I want to thank my family for their love, support and sacrifice," he wrote on Twitter. "I also want to thank the University of Florida for the amazing experience these past three years. The knowledge gained and lessons learned will last a lifetime.

"To be taught under the tutelage of two great head coaches, (Dan) Mullen and (Billy) Napier, I am forever grateful. My coaches, (Todd) Grantham, (Ron) English, CrimeDawg (Wesley McGriff), and (Patrick) Toney have prepared me for this moment. Last but definitely not least, thank you to the LOYAL Gator fans that have supported me from Day 1.

"Since I was 6 years old my dream has been to play collegiate football and I can't think of a better place to play than The Swamp.

"With all things considered, my ultimate goal is to play in the NFL on Sundays. After much prayer and guidance, I've decided to forego my senior season, trust God's plan for my life and enter the 2023 NFL Draft."

Torrence led Florida in tackles this year with 84, including 50 solo. He also had a forced fumble, fumble recovery and a pass breakup, and he had three double-digit tackle games, including a season-high 13 against Tennessee and 11 against Georgia.

For his career, Torrence started 28 games over three seasons. He finished with 196 tackles, including 111 solo, as well as three interceptions, two fumble recoveries and six passes defended.

The consensus of the draft websites has Torrence as a late second- or early third-day selection, going between the third and fifth rounds.

Torrence also becomes the second former Blue Devil to declare for the draft this year, joining LSU linebacker BJ Ojulari. If both are selected, they would join New York Giants linebacker Azeez Ojulari, giving Marietta three players in the NFL.