Mizzou DE Ealy leaving early for NFL draft

Missouri junior defensive lineman Kony Ealy speaks to the media during an NCAA college football news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in Irving, Texas.

Missouri junior defensive lineman Kony Ealy speaks to the media during an NCAA college football news conference, Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, in Irving, Texas. Photo by The Associated Press.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy is bypassing his senior season for the NFL draft.

Ealy said Friday night after the No. 9 Tigers' 41-31 win over No. 13 Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl that he felt it was time "to go on to the next level."

An All-SEC pick, the 6-foot-5 Ealy had six tackles and two sacks in his final game, pushing his season total to 9½ sacks.

"I love my teammates. I love my coaches," Ealy said. "I've gone from a boy to a man here."

He had 14 sacks in 38 career games for the Tigers.

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