Pitts, a junior from Philadelphia, is considered a potential top-10 pick.
“After much prayer and consideration and speaking with my family, I will forego my senior year and enter the 2021 NFL draft and will not be playing in the bowl game,” Pitts wrote on Twitter. “I am eager to pursue my dreams of playing in the NFL. But I will always be a Gator.”
Pitts (6-foot-6, 239 pounds) is ranked No. 1 among tight ends by ESPN draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay. Kiper ranks Pitts as the No. 7 prospect overall; McShay ranks him 10th.
Pitts has 43 catches for 770 yards with 12 touchdowns in eight games this season for the Gators, who are expected to be selected to play in a New Year’s Six bowl game on Sunday. He had seven receptions for 129 yards with one score in a 52-46 loss to No. 1 Alabama in Saturday night’s SEC championship game.