While I think most of us were hoping this would not happen this offseason, honestly we all knew this news was coming. Xavier Su'a-Filo has announced that he will skip his Senior season at UCLA to declare for this year's NFL Draft.
You probably suspected it but I have decided to forego my senior year & make myself available for the 2014 NFL Draft pic.twitter.com/r7uGpN5e8X— Xavier Su'a-Filo (@XMANEE56) January 4, 2014
Thank you to @UCLACoachMora @IAMKLEMM @Coach_Alosi and the rest of my coaching staff for their support & letting me be apart of this team— Xavier Su'a-Filo (@XMANEE56) January 4, 2014
He also posted a message to the greater bruin nation on his Instagram page - don't know if that is public or if you have to follow him/have an instagram account to read it.
X-man has been a great football player and simply a great Bruin since first coming to Westwood to play for Rick Neuheisel in 2009, and then coming back to UCLA in the spring of 2012 from serving a religious mission to play for Coach Mora. He has been great on the field since day 1 - when (per the official site) he became the first offensive true freshman to start the season opener - going on to earn all-conference and all-american recognition in all three seasons that he played for the Bruins.
The fact that he did take two years off from football to serve his LDS mission did likely play a role in his leaving as a Junior, but if he had played through all 4 years, he would not have been around to play the past season anyway. An NFL.com article from last month talks about the effect of those 2 years on Xavier's draft outlook.
Xavier wants to make sure that everyone out there in Bruin Nation knows how much he appreciates you.
Thank you to all of you at UCLA who have supported me through the years and shown me love!! It's been real Westwood!! #Bruins4Life— Xavier Su'a-Filo (@XMANEE56) January 4, 2014
His current and former teammates and coaches have responded to him in kind.
@XMANEE56 congrats my brotha! pic.twitter.com/g3lbhrakkx— Caleb Benenoch (@UCLA_CB74) January 4, 2014
@XMANEE56 Cant Wait For The Epic Battle bro— Datone Jones (@IAM_Dat_One) January 4, 2014
Best of luck to a great young man, role model, leader and football player. UCLA thanks @xmanee56, luv you!! pic.twitter.com/vmsp9dWdsd— Jim Mora (@UCLACoachMora) January 4, 2014
We have joined in on the twitter appreciation, and ask those of you on twitter to share and retweet our message of thanks to X-man:
.@XMANEE56 congrats to you - the whole #BruinNation will be cheering for you not just on the field but rest of your life #Bruin4ever— Bruins Nation (@BruinNation) January 4, 2014
Good Luck to you in your upcoming football career and in all of your future endeavors, Xavier!