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Utah Defensive End Paul Kruger off to the NFL

Redshirt sophomore star defensive end declared late last night that he has declared for the NFL draft. Kruger was a star all year long in Utah's Sugar Bowl run for the season had 7.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss. While only a redshirt sophomore Kruger is more mature then others in that grade at the age of 24, because he went on a church mission for two years, but when he came back after that lay off he was much improved. His age I feel is a small part he left early and that what else does he have to prove at this level. There are other reports that Ute defensive back Sean Smith is going to declare as well. Below, is Kruger's official statement about turning pro:

This past year I have been honored to be a part of this very special group of teammates and coaches at the UNIVERSITY of UTAH. I have cherished what has been my amazing college experience. Finishing this 2008 football season undefeated and having the privilege to get to play under someone as special as coach Kyle Whittingham has been a lifelong dream fulfilled. Now it is my journey to pursue another lifelong dream which is to become a professional football player in the National Football League.

This decision is one of the toughest that I have ever had to make. As I reflect on the UNIVERSITY of UTAH, my teammates, all of my coaches, the football staff and most importantly the UTES fans I am filled with humility and deep gratitude. These past years at UTAH have been a tremendous learning and growing experience for me. I want to thank everyone at the University and all the UTES everywhere for their support.

It is my hope in making this decision that the fans, coaches, teammates, and the UTAH athletic department will continue to support me and my family as I take this next step in attaining my goals.

My heart belongs to UTAH. And I wish continued prosperity and success to my UTAH UTES!

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