An early call from the NFL has cost another FBS football team a top performer.
The latest to leave eligibility on the table for a jump to the professional ranks is Western Kentucky’s Jonathan Dowling, who announced via Twitter Friday afternoon that he will be leaving the Hilltoppers and making himself available for the April NFL draft.
The school has yet to confirm the early departure, although a school spokesperson did acknowledge the following tweet did indeed come from Dowling’s Twitter account.
I'm proud to announce I am declaring for the NFL draft! I'm excited for my future! Thank you Topper Nation your support meant everything!!!—
JONATHAN DOWLING (@TeamJDOWL) December 13, 2013
Dowling originally signed with Florida in 2010 as a four-star recruit, but was dismissed by then-head coach Urban Meyer in November of that year for violating unspecified team rules. He was named first-team All-Sun Belt Conference following the 2013 season.
After sitting out the 2011 season to satisfy NCAA transfer rules, Dowling started 23 games in 2012 and 2013, including the last 20 straight. He totaled nine interceptions during his brief time with the Hilltoppers.