Kristen Finstad

South Carolina's Quarles To Turn Pro After This Season

Created on Nov. 07, 2013 4:47 PM EST

South Carolina junior defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles will leave the No. 13 Gamecocks after this season to enter the 2014 NFL Draft, according to his father.

Buddy Quarles told The State on Wednesday that the decision was a mutual one between his son and the South Carolina coaching staff.

"I think they all came to that conclusion," Buddy Quarles said. "They had a good assumption that he's going to be leaving."

Knowing that Quarles was considering the NFL, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier has reportedly told him to walk with the seniors during pregame ceremonies for the team's Senior Day game on Nov. 30 against Clemson.

The 6-foot-4, 298-pound Quarles has started eight straight games for the Gamecocks and leads the team with seven sacks and 11 tackles for a loss. He's third in the SEC in sacks and was named the SEC's defensive lineman of the week two weeks ago after his performance in South Carolina's 27-24 double-overtime win at Missouri.

NFL Draft analyst Tony Pauline and Kelcy's father both predict that Quarles will be among the first 75 picks in next year's draft.

"I'm thinking the first three (rounds), but I don't know right now," Buddy Quarles said.

Quarles isn't the only underclasman that South Carolina will lose to the draft. Junior defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has already said that he will forego his senior season in order to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

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