December 27, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Baylor Bears quarterback Nick Florence (11) waives to the crowd after being taken out of the game during the fourth quarter against the UCLA Bruins in the Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Baylor won 49-26. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Baylor Bears QB Nick Florence Will Not Pursue The NFL

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In an interview with Texas radio station KZRI 1660, Baylor Bears quarterback Nick Florence said he will not pursue the NFL Draft. Florence will instead pursue his Master’s degree, with the intent of pursuing a field “involving sports and business.”

Florence told the station he wants to end his football career “on a high note,” which the end of his run at Baylor was. Florence was dominant in the Bears’ 49-26 drubbing of UCLA, passing for 188 yards and two touchdowns, and rushing for a third score.

BU and Florence both hit their stride in the final month of the 2012 season, rallying from a 4-5 record to win four straight. Included in the Bears’ season-ending stretch was a Nov. 17 upset of previously undefeated Kansas State, an outcome that sent the BCS championship race into disarray.

Florence returned as BU’s starting quarterback in 2012, after filling the role in 2009 while eventual Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin III nursed an injury. He struggled that season, throwing more interceptions (9) than touchdowns (6). But in his final campaign and stepping into the long shadow Griffin cast, Florence was outstanding.

He scored 43 total touchdowns and accrued nearly 4900 yards. His departure leaves Art Briles with another difficult off-season of replacing a standout leader.

NFL Draft experts graded Florence as a late round pick — likely in the seventh, the final of the annual selection process.

Florence’s influence may also extend beyond the field. Reaching the NFL is the dream of nearly every college player who laces up a pair of cleats, but the opportunity they’re afforded to pursue higher education is a reward in itself. His decision is one that emphasizes the student in student-athlete.

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