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Josh Sweat officially declares for 2018 NFL Draft

The junior has elected to begin his professional career and forego his final year of eligibility.

Alabama v Florida State Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

In 2014, Josh Sweat dislocated his left knee in a high school football game. His timetable was murky, with schools thinking that the top-rated defensive end would not be able to participate as a true freshman.

Three years later, Sweat is leaving for the 2018 NFL Draft as an early entrant, simultaneously announcing that he plans to skip FSU’s bowl matchup with Southern Miss to prepare for his professional career. This story was first reported by

While Florida State’s coaches thought that Sweat would initially have to sit out his freshman season, the Virginia native surprised everyone by recovering faster than expected and earning a starting role on the defense. He racked up 41 tackles, two sacks, and an interception, all while less than a year removed from serious knee surgery.

As a sophomore, Sweat provided a more consistent pass rush and totaled 11.5 tackles for loss and seven sacks for an FSU defense that would lead the nation in sacks. This past year, as a junior, Sweat leads the team with 12.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks.

Sweat’s knee and his continued recovery will be a major focus for NFL teams in the pre-draft evaluation. If Sweat can perform well at the Combine and in visits, it would not be a surprise to see him rocket up draft boards.

1/4 Update:

Although we’d reported this some time ago, Florida State officially announced that Sweat would be declaring for the 2018 NFL Draft in an article below. You can keep track of which Seminoles are staying at FSU and which are leaving for the NFL with our tracker.