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Utes lose another defensive starter to NFL

For the second time this month, the Utah Utes have lost a member of their starting defense to early entry into the NFL.

In a press release sent out by the TEST Football Academy -- a group that helps train players for the NFL Combine -- Utah defensive tackle Sealver Siligi announced that he was leaving the Utes and making himself available for the April draft.

“Over the past couple of weeks, my family and I have been evaluating my draft prospects,” Siligi said in a statement. “I have taken a lot of time and have spoken with my family, friends and the coaching staff, and I have decided to make myself eligible for the 2011 NFL Draft. I feel both mentally and physically this is the best time for me to turn pro.

“This was not an easy decision or one in which I made without a lot of thought and prayer. I would like to thank the University of Utah, the athletic program, my teammates, the coaches and especially Coach Whittingham, Coach Sitaki and Coach Ahyou. I am very thankful for everything Coach Whittingham and his staff have done for me.”

The 6-3, 299-pound lineman started 21 games during his time at Utah.