Redding will forego senior season, declare for draft

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.

8 comments

  1. Best of luck to this fine young man. My guess is that he’ll get drafted in rounds 5 – 7. If not, he’ll have a good chance to sign as a free agent.

    These days, running backs almost have to leave school after three seasons. Their shelf life in the NFL is shorter than most, so they have to try to survive long enough to get that second contract.

  2. Good luck to Redding, I was wondering with the log jam at RB if he would make this move. He became one of just a couple IU RBs to have back to back 1,000 yd seasons. I wish him the best but wonder how he will do in an NFL camp. Howard had a great year with the Bears and Coleman has had a fine season with the Falcons; maybe Redding will be shining with an NFL team this time next year.

  3. Because his IU future looks diluted at best at RB his decision is understandable but Howard went in the 5th round which tells me he’ll be using his degree in short order. For him it was the right time to be at IU.

  4. The average career of an NFL running back is 3.1 years. Figure in that guys like DeAngelo Williams and Emmitt Smith skew those figures and 3 years is pretty optimistic. Take out kickers, punters, long snappers, etc., and 3 to 4 years is pretty good career for most players.

    They’d better plan on using that degree.

  5. Coaches out recruiting and filling the class of 17. Most of the upcoming recruits will be about offensive players. Rafdal is still considering IU and if coach Heard and DeBord to talk to him about how the TEs will be used in this new offense. They also need to talk to Hendershot about the offense and how TEs are used in the passing game.

  6. Didn’t I read today where Iowa’s OC announced his retirement? Since Iowa is one of Rafdal’s other potential destinations, I wonder if that news helps IU’s cause to sign him.

  7. Yes HC, I don’t think Redding will get drafted higher than Howard did in the fifth round. Having said that, Howard and Redding have proven to be durable backs. Given Howard’s body, he has the potential to endure more than three seasons in the NFL. For any NFL player, it’s all about surviving until you can get that second contract and the money that comes with it. But both are going to need to rely on their degrees well before their 30th birthday.

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