Posted: Thu December 27, 2012 2:46PM; Updated: Thu December 27, 2012 2:46PM

Florida's Saunders, Patchan transferring from Gators

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Safety De'Ante Saunders is leaving the Florida football program.
Safety De'Ante Saunders is leaving the Florida football program.
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida safety De'Ante Saunders and offensive tackle Matt Patchan are leaving the program.

Coach Will Muschamp announced the pending transfers Thursday after the fourth-ranked Gators landed in New Orleans for the Sugar Bowl.

Muschamp says "I think they needed a fresh start and that's all I've got to say about it."

Saunders, a sophomore from DeLand, played in eight games this season. He had 18 tackles and an interception. Saunders played in 12 games last year, including nine starts, and finished with 26 tackles and two interceptions.

Patchan, a fourth-year junior from Tampa, has missed all season with a pectoral injury. He has played in 27 games during an injury-plagued career, including 11 games as a backup defensive tackle on Florida's 2008 national championship team.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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