For the third consecutive off-season, Indiana has lost a junior running back to the NFL Draft process.
Devine Redding announced Friday that he will forego his senior season and declare for the 2017 NFL Draft. Redding’s decision comes after he became the first Hoosier running back since Vaughn Dunbar in 1991 to author back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
“My life so far has been shaped by my goal of playing in the NFL,” Redding said in a statement. “After submitting my paperwork to the NFL College Advisory Committee and reviewing its feedback — and after a lot of thought and prayer — I have decided that now is the time for me to pursue that lifelong dream.”
Indiana was the only school to offer the Youngstown, Ohio native a scholarship. Redding first impressed runnings back coach Deland McCullough during an IU high school camp held in Bloomington after Redding’s sophomore year. Michigan State, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin each reportedly contacted Redding by his senior season, but Indiana remained the only school to offer.
During his freshman season in 2014, Redding appeared in 10 games as a complement to Tevin Coleman and D’Angelo Roberts, before finding further playing opportunities the following season.
As a sophomore, Redding finished with 1,012 yards, averaged 4.5 yards per carry and scored nine touchdowns. He set an Indiana bowl game record with a career-high 227 yards and a touchdown against Duke in the Pinstripe Bowl.
That momentum carried Redding into 2016 as IU’s first option in a crowded backfield. He earned All-Big Ten honorable mention honors, finishing fifth in the conference with 1,122 rushing yards.
Looking to next season, Indiana is expected to have a backfield consisting of Camion Patrick, who will transition from receiver to running back, Tyler Natee, Mike Majette, Devonte Williams, Cole Gest and Alex Rodriguez.