Utah’s Joe Kruger to enter 2013 NFL Draft
The underclass defensive lineman Joe Kruger has appeared in 37 of 38 games (including 14 starts) for the Utes from 2010 to 2012, with a career 69 tackles. Joe Kruger had seven of eleven starts this season and led the Utes with six sacks and eight tackles for loss this season. Joe Kruger released an official statement on Wednesday announcing his decision after consulting with his family to enter the NFL Draft, leaving one year of eligibility on the table to move on to the next level in his career.
"These past three years, I have been honored to be a part of a very special group of teammates and coaches at the University of Utah,” said Joe Kruger. “I have cherished what has been my amazing college experience.”
Joe Kruger appreciated the opportunity to play for Utah coach Kyle Whittingham and to have his brother Dave, a senior starting tackle with the Utes, as his teammate. Joe Kruger will be joined by Dave for the NFL Draft.
While Joe Kruger may be setting sail to accomplish a “lifelong dream” of playing in the NFL, the 6-foot-7 and 275-pound tackle leaves another considerable void on the Utah front that already faces the loss of graduating starters All-Star nose tackle Loutlelei and Dave Kruger. Joe Kruger himself earned Pac-12 honorable mention accolades in his junior season. He added that the decision took a lot consideration on his part.
“As I reflect on the University of Utah, my teammates, all of my coaches, the football staff, and most importantly the Utah fans,” expressed Joe Kruger. “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,” added Joe Kruger. “My heart belongs to Utah and I wish continued prosperity and success to my Utah Utes."
Kyle Whittingham also released a statement hoping the brightest future for Joe Kruger and citing that he possessed “NFL potential.”
"Joe and his family spent a lot of time making this decision and concluded that it's in Joe's best interest to forego his senior year of eligibility and enter the draft,” said Kyle Whittingham. “The Kruger name has been synonymous with Utah football for a lot of years and we are very appreciative for all they have done for our program."
Joe Kruger’s older brother Paul is a linebacker with the Baltimore Ravens, and his brother-in-law Tony Bergstorm is an offensive lineman with the Oakland Raiders.