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Mario Edwards, Jr. leaving Florida State for NFL

Statement by Edwards, Jr., below. The defensive end was an excellent player for the Seminoles the last two seasons.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

I chose FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY because of the incredible opportunities it provided me to earn a tremendous education, have the honor of playing football at the greatest collegiate program in the nation and learning from the greatest teachers and coaches. I also was able to follow in my father’s footsteps and wear his famed number 15 jersey. We have been fortunate enough to win 3 ACC titles and one National Championship. I have made lifelong friends amongst my teammates, class mates and coaches that I will cherish throughout my days. Over the past three years, I have dedicated myself and given my best effort to my two passions: football and FLORIDA STATE. Today, these two passions leave me at a crossroads. I can continue to pay on the best team in all of the land or enter the 2015 NFL Draft.

I feel incredibly lucky to have two equally great choices and know that I can’t make a bad decision. After lengthy, serious consideration with my family, my Father and the Florida State coaches, I have decided to enter the 2015 NFL Draft. I have loved and appreciated every minute of my time as a FLORIDA STATE student athlete. My heart will always remain at this institution that taught me life lessons about being an athlete, student and person. I truly hope that I will be lucky enough to have a successful NFL career, and do FLORIDA STATE proud for years to come, as so many of its alumni have done.

I also want to thank the greatest fans in all of College Football, the fans of FLORIDA STATE who have supported me since I began my career as a Seminole. I am also grateful to my teammates, coaches, academic advisors and staff at FLORIDA STATE for their support, teachings and encouragement.

In particular, I would like to thank Coaches Jimbo Fisher, Sal Sunseri, Justin Bright, Odell Haggins, Lawrence Dorsey, Addison Lynch, Burt Biffani, and Charles Kelly, who have prepared me for this extraordinary opportunity and are supporting me in my decision. I would also like to thank my father, grandmother, my Uncles and Aunts and Dean Greg Beaumont, who have helped shape the person I am today. They have truly prepared me for this next step in my professional journey, and for that I am sincerely grateful. Thanks again to all of the fans. Go Noles!!