Jordan Howard will enter NFL Draft #iufb

After one season at Indiana, Jordan Howard will enter the NFL Draft.

The school announced Monday that the junior running back will forego his final season of eligibility. Howard is coming off a first-team All-Big Ten selection after rushing for 1,213 yards and averaging 6.2 yards per carry with nine rushing touchdowns despite missing 22 quarters.

Howard did not play in Saturday’s Pinstripe Bowl after undergoing a knee scope procedure during the week leading into IU’s regular season finale at Purdue on Nov. 28. He practiced with the team last week prior to the bowl game, but chose to sit after testing his knee on the grass field at Yankee Stadium during warmups.

Injuries nagged Howard for nearly the entire Big Ten season after he hurt an ankle during Indiana’s loss to Ohio State on Oct. 3. But the UAB transfer found his way into the Indiana record books, becoming the 11th Hoosier to reach the 1,000-yard mark. His 2015 total ranks 12th on the program’s all-time list.

In a statement, Howard said he is now focused on pursuing his lifelong dream of an NFL career.

“My success to date would not have been possible without God and the support of family and countless people,” Howard said. “I’d like to thank my parents, Dr. Reginald Howard (deceased) and Flora Williams for their unyielding and unwavering support over the years.

“My sincerest thanks to all of my coaches and teammates at Indiana University and the University of Alabama-Birmingham. I would like to personally thank former UAB coach Garrick McGee for believing in me and giving me the opportunity to play at the collegiate level. Coach Kevin Wilson, thank you for allowing me to be a part of a great football family. Coach Deland McCullough, thank you for coaching and pushing me to realize my true potential. Coach Mark Hill, thank you for inspiring me to work harder at strength and conditioning.

“To my IU family, I could have never imagined receiving the love and support that you all have shown me since my arrival on campus. A special thanks to the training staff, Christa Sist and IU academics.”

Howard ends his college career with 17 100-yard rushing performances, including 10 over his last 13 contests. This season, he broke the 150-yard mark five times, while twice surpassing 200 yards.

Since the start of the 2013 season, Howard leads active running backs nationally with 12 150-yard games. Now, he’ll follow former IU running back Tevin Coleman’s path to the professional ranks.

“He taught me more about focus, humility and inner drive than I taught him about football,” IU running backs coach Deland McCullough tweeted.

Howard’s departure leaves the Hoosiers with a few options at running back next season.

After rushing for career bests in yards (227) and carries (35) at Saturday’s Pinstripe Bowl, sophomore Devine Redding will push for the starting job during the spring. Redding made IU history over the weekend when he became the latest Hoosier to rush for 1,000 yards — marking the first time Indiana has had two running backs reach the milestone during the same season.

While knee issues kept Howard from playing over IU’s final three games, Redding surged for 501 total yards between contests against Maryland, Purdue and Duke.

“It was a great performance with the help of the linemen and the team,” Redding said after IU’s 44-41 overtime loss to the Blue Devils. “It was something to grow on. I have to leave it in the past, keep going and wait till next year for the next game.”

Camion Patrick, who arrived at IU last summer as a heralded junior college receiver, could be another option for the Hoosiers.

Patrick was unable to gain academic clearance to play this season, but helped the IU scout team both at receiver and running back. At 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, his size and physicality could transition to the backfield. McCullough said earlier this month that while he likes the raw ability of Patrick, he needs to spend more time with the junior-to-be before a position change can move forward.

“He got over there and started killing guys,” McCullough said. “Defensive coaches would tell me, ‘Hey, you need to watch the tape of him.’ It was something to be seen, for sure. Now, it’s about taking that, harnessing it into the particulars of our offense and (doing it) as a running back and not just getting the ball and taking off running. It’s actually (understanding), ‘I have keys and there’s some pace to this. I have to do some different things.’ It’ll be exciting to see how that crosses over if the full-blown decision is to make him a running back.”

Freshman Mike Majette is also expected to be in the mix, and the Hoosiers expect to add Ohio native Cole Gest, a three-star verbal commit, to the position next year.

28 comments

  1. I was (selfishly) hoping durability issues would give the NFL pause. Best of luck Mr. Howard on pursuing your dream. Devine Redding you’re next man up to shine behind one of the best O-Lines in the nation. This unit has produced 3 1,000 yard rushers in 2 years (De’Angelo Roberts was pretty close in 2014). Alex Rodriguez, Mike Majette and company dig in because we need at least 3 solid backs. LetsDigIN. GO HOOSIERS!!!

  2. He has all the tools. In the Navy he’d be referred to as a ‘hanger queen’, a beautiful aircraft that was seemingly always in the process of being repaired. It will be interesting to see if any team uses a draft pick higher than the 5th round for a guy that could rarely stay on the field for any length of time. It’s hard to imagine an early round draft selection considering his health history.

    Unless he sets the NFL afire his rookie year there’s no way of knowing whether or not he made the right choice. Teams like the Broncos always seem to take middle round running back and turn them into the flavor of the day. Maybe he’ll be one of those guys. On the other hand, if he ends up on someone’s practice squad it was obviously a mistake leaving school early.

    I wish him the best and I hope this season was an aberration as far as his injuries are concerned. The pounding he took this season was a walk in the park compared to running into the likes of Luke Kuechley on Sundays.

    I hope he finishes his degree. Best of luck.

    It looks as though the Hoosiers have more quality depth than I can ever recall at running back.

  3. One word, weak. I was done with him when HE decided to not to play against Duke. I am glad Coach Wilson emphasized that point as well. The kid missed 22 quarters of play. If I was a GM and looking at his durability, I would invest a 5th round pick at best. Thanks for 8 games as a Hoosier, I became more of a Redding fan as the year progressed. Our OL produced these numbers the last two years (Coleman, Howard, Redding). Plus, I hope Patrick gets a look at RB. We are pretty loaded at WR for next year with Harris and Booth rejoining Cobbs, Paige, Jones, Westbrook, etc. Go Hoosiers and a Team 1st Attitude is what this program needs to continue to recruit and emphasize.

  4. When a person is great during the season and is praised and he makes a decision to move on to the next, level, the fans should support his decision and be not be negatve about the player.

  5. I wish Howard well and was glad to see him as an IU RB this year. I hope this decision isn’t due to being told by an agent information that isn’t true. Most scouting sites for the draft don’t have Howard in the top 15 RBs even though I think he has the talent to be higher. I hope he excels in the NFL and avoids injuries as the hitting is much tougher in the NFL. If he avoids injuries he could be one of those middle to late round picks that turn out to be a quality NFL RB.

    IU has depth at RB and if they develop the OL they have over the past few years then the running game will be in good shape. It will be interesting to see what the coaches do with Patrick as he would be a great WR but coach has talked about maybe moving him to RB. I think IU will have enough depth at RB especially with Gest coming in next year.

  6. You did a great job for IU Jordan Howard! The very best to you in the NFL. Hoosier fans will always love you! Come back to visit often.

  7. Why the sour grapes, guys? Howard’s doing the smart thing and he was gracious in saying thank you and goodbye. If he was my son, and had done his research, I’d advise him to do exactly what he is doing. Like his predecessor at IU and so many other talented athletes, he has to go to the draft now. It would be really stupid for him to play another year in college and risk a career-ending injury. Three years in the NFL and he’ll have made more money and done more to establish his future financial well-being than he could in 10 years in a “regular” job after getting his degree. And this has potential to be more good news for IU Football. If Howard does well, it is another feather in IU Football’s cap, making it easier for Wilson to recruit better football players who aspire to play in the NFL. That’s how you improve recruiting and build a winning program.

  8. No sour grapes from me. I just saying what is. If he has good info showing it to be a sound financial move he should probably go for it.

    More power to him.

  9. Great to have him for a year. Best of luck to him in the NFL. I think he goes no later than end of 4th round. Best thing about him now is as a selling tool to college transfers and JUCO’s. Go to IU for a year or 2, get on the field right away, make a name for yourself in an elite conference and get a shot at the NFL- you too can be the next Jordan Howard. Not a bad selling tool for KW to pull out of his pocket.

  10. I wish him well and maybe it is somewhat selfish like the other posters admitted, but it is not sour grapes to be worried that he made a bad decision. Based on his season at IU in a much tougher conference this year, his durability at the next level will be a major question. Think he will be leaving a lot of money on the table by not answering that question before entering the draft. He could prove us wrong at the next level or might have suffered a career ending injury staying another year at IU. Hopefully his roll of the dice to enter the draft will prove to be a good move.

  11. I don’t know the young man, but from the comments that I’ve read, he seems fairly bright and considerate. And I trust his position coach and Wilson did their best to provide him the best possible advice. So, assuming he’s getting the straight scoop about his potential, the upside of entering the draft far outweighs the risks associated with delaying his entry into the NFL by another year. You can’t criticize a young man for pursuing his dream and trying to enhance his financial well-being. I mean, isn’t that what going to college is all about? And let’s be honest, if he plays in the NFL for five years, he’ll be able to afford finishing his education on his own dime. I am grateful he chose to transfer to IU and I hope he is a major success in the NFL. If he is, it will only enhance IU’s reputation.

  12. I don’t see how anything you said above couldn’t be argued as supportive evidence as a defense for John Calipari; including the positive image upon the NCAA that stands as representative authority to the sound advice a UK recruit will receive from his coach to achieve an ultimate dream.

    I don’t know the young man, but from the comments that I’ve read, he seems fairly bright and considerate. And I trust his position coach, [Calipari], did his best to provide him the best possible advice. So, assuming he’s getting the straight scoop about his potential, the upside of entering the draft far outweighs the risks associated with delaying his entry into the NFL NBA by another year. You can’t criticize a young man for pursuing his dream and trying to enhance his financial well-being. I mean, isn’t that what going to college is all about? And let’s be honest, if he plays in the NFL NBA for five years, he’ll be able to afford finishing his education on his own dime. I am grateful he chose to transfer to IU UK and I hope he is a major success in the NFL NBA. If he is, it will only enhance IU’s reputation.

  13. oops. Forgot my last correction:

    If he is, it will only enhance IU’s UK’s reputation.

  14. Funny…I thought going to college might also include dreams and intrinsic rewards in the sport of choice that don’t necessarily come with paychecks. Hard to imagine what it must feel like to play in a Final Four after a dream run through March Madness…or a Rose Bowl…or to be in a Hoosier locker room with your brothers, your teammates, after taking down OSU in Columbus?

    Why in the hell do we have reunion ceremonies for great teams if the purpose of college is only fondly remembered for how it got YOU to the next level? Maybe we should have designated individual ‘names’ banners for guys that get drafted …These could be done on a decade by decade basis…Maybe if you go 1st round you get your own individual banner?(Holy crap! Maybe not such a good idea at Rupp…There would be so many banners that the lights couldn’t find openings to illuminate the court).
    Anyway, ahet IU, it would be a nice gesture for those chosen few of the Crean era that had to make the tough decision to leave the rest an average roster behind. They should have a banner….and the gazillions. Good sound financial decisions that come with the best possible advice our highly paid public teachers of the game should be deserving a banner. I like it.

    I wonder if those that stayed an extra year or two in college and played in truly special games would change a thing…?

    Maybe just give every Rivals top-100 recruit a banner? The banner allows you to bypass college for five years of playing in the NBA. After earning 50 million guaranteed by your ‘Rivals Banner,’ you may return to college to play for sh*ts and giggles..? Upon completion of your sh*ts and giggles years, you are back in the NBA ….The only catch in your return trip is that you have to play with a washed up superstar that refuses to retire(e.g. Kobe).

  15. Good luck Jordan. The big time only calls once. Hope you take the time to finish up your degree. As Chet said many options at RB for sure.

  16. We shouldn’t begrudge a young man for following his dream. If you all recall UAB shuttered their program. An opportunity to play with an excellent O-line and a pro QB presented itself. Jordan Howard maximized his opportunity. Based on his production, he saw it in his best interest to forego the Pinstripe Bowl to prepare for the Combine. I don’t knock him for that. The pros draft on potential, and clearly Jordan Howard has as nuch as any RB. Anyone who has played at the collegiate level, with an opportunity to move on to the highest level really shouldn’t cindemnity his decision. The average RB career is 2-5 years. Besides, no one hated on TeCo or Cody Latimer when they left early. Ask yourself honestly, what you would do in the situation? Good luck Jordan Howard & GO HOOSIERS! ! !

  17. I think the folks who are bothered by his decision feel that way because it was all such a tease for us. For a handful of games we had the leading RB in the nation and then he has a couple of injuries that we were never lead to believe were season ending injuries. For, what, 4 games we hoped, shoot, we expected, he’d be back on the field for the Hoosiers. He wasn’t. It was all just a flash in the pan.

    We lost games we might have won. The bowl game was as surreal as it was disappointing.

    It’s almost like we imagined him. He was never really here.

  18. I agree totally with Chet. It was a tease because he was such a tremendous talent. The nfl running back shelf life is short so you have to go when you can. Good luck Jordan. Loved seeing you play and sorry what happened to UAB football. I hope you get drafted and have a wonderful career.

  19. In case you do not understand or did not know this decision is the reason he did not play in the Pinstripe Bowl. I do believe he will be a top NFL rookie RB at a bargain price after being drafted in the middle rounds of the draft. If he is fortunate enough to get to his 2nd NFL contract his income ceiling rises to loftier heights providing a secure future. I think he makes it and I’ll enjoy watching him (over)achieve.

    Someone mentioned above this is good for recruiting of transfers, JUCOS and also talented de-committed players of other programs looking for that leg up.

  20. He’s Walter Payton, Jim Brown, Herschel Walker, Gayle Sayers, Barry Sanders, and Tony Dorsett…all wrapped into one “save it for the NFL package.” Toss in a bit of Bill Lynch meets Marshawn Lynch and a splash of Hoosier “I’m just here so I won’t get fired…or fined”…? He is as elusive as Sayers and as punishing as Sweetness. He explodes off the turn of an edge like Barry in ballet shoes. He is …..the most interesting back in the world. I don’t always drink red water, but when I do, I ask for Dos Kool-Aid. Jordan Howard was to Memorial Football as Ron Howard was to Mayberry fishing holes. I will fondly remember all the tiny fish he caught for a 2-6 conference team. But now he must go on to directing ….from backfield to ‘Backdraft'(Get it..? Back…Draft/NFL ).

    Hard to believe Tevin Coleman rushed for 2036 yards in his final year at IU. Now, of late, he can hardly get 4 attempts per game for Atlanta.

  21. Tevin is doing OK. He started the season with an injury and had trouble getting into the rotation but he has still racked up something like 400 yards at 4.5 per carry which puts him second on the team in rushing with no one else even close. Atlanta is an awful rushing team with a terrible offensive line as well.

    If he can get, and stay, healthy he’ll be fine. If he is lucky they will trade him.

  22. Why would anyone be disappointed in Jordan Howard’s decision to declare for the NFL draft, or his performance in his one season at IU? I don’t get it? And if he just plays three years in the NFL, he’ll make a lot more money than he would working in the “real” world for ten to 12 years. There are no guarantees, and I don’t think he expects any. He’s pursuing his dream and a chance to build a solid financial foundation for himself. I salute him, support his decision, and thank him for his contribution to IU football. He exceeded expectations at IU this past season and contributed to the team’s best performance in many years. He owes IU nothing, and probably gave more than he got in return. I wish him well and hope he has a long and very successful career in the NFL. Next man up, and Redding appears prepared to received the baton.

  23. But if the purpose of college is so individualistic as to play at the next level and receive “sound” financial advice, it tells a tale of the money pot getting so vast as to make a bit of a farce for college athletics.

    Very true…Most of us would do no differently. College isn’t the NFL and what may be a stellar year or two at IU guarantees nothing of memorable impact on pro squads deep with the best talent the machine of industry can buy. You can make millions for merely four or five carries a game… You can walk away after five years and have more in a bank account than all Donald Trump house servants could combine in lifetime earnings.

    But please don’t tell me that he transformed Indiana into anything more memorable than the next guy busting his ass every game without the sexy hoopla that comes with premier position players. I just find it rather nauseating….In the backdrop of many on here that were ready to send Wilson to the gallows, so much is placed in the form of adulation on a few. The future of IU football hinges on those that make the holes for these future sexy NFL picks…and those that can tackle the much greater numbers sharing Howard’s skills coming out of the backfields an OSU, Michigan, MSU, etc.

    His decision to stay at IU would be insane. God, would I love an insane Coleman…or an insane Howard…or an insane Dipo…or an insane Zeller to risk everything for that silly uniform for peasants they so anxiously want to shed for silk sheets a guaranteed mansion and a bed of roses. Why? Because I’m selfish and disturbed. Disturbed on how we drool upon such talent that will risk nothing for the peasants on a roster while we settle for an “insanely” incompetent basketball coach(or a mediocre football coach that Podunker, and a recently disappeared ‘davis,’ were both licking chops to begin a witch hunt party for a head to roll if there was no bowl).

    So forgive me for not seeing any sincerity in anything that comes out their blowholes on the sound financial advice given by our mature and sound coaches. It’s good advice coming from very lousy coaches that are generally getting their collective asses whooped. Meanwhile, the non-sexy, not-so-phenom, role players and 4-year guys that often are the nuts and bolts of a team that gets you to Final Fours or upper tier bowls are forced to play out their empty rewards with these “sound” advisers that can’t coach worth a sh*ts and giggles.

    Forgive me for being a little cynical but the system is nearly as effed up as those that change their opinions on a coach with every bowel movement they take on here. Give me a quality coach that we don’t pay an insane amount of money for average X’s and O’s. If these men we call “coaches” are merely grossly overpaid agents of sound ‘draft’ advice or beauty pageant judges to find the next high draft pick that won’t insanely love IU enough before they set nothing on fire at the next level? Yippee. I don’t see IU being the winner in any such equations. Bad to average coaches that find some over-hyped talents that suffer their way through wearing those boring cream and crimson uniforms…endure the poor b-ball coaching…or the one-dimensional football coaching…and live happily ever, filthy rich after, as we clap cymbals like mechanical “honorable fan” monkeys in our lifetime of “everything hinges” Sweet 16 banner ceremonies and Snausage Bowls of average results sold as the pearly gates of IU’s sports resurrection.

  24. I wonder if the Pinstripe Bowl is even close with Howard at full strength? Having the game come down to a field goal is not indicative of just how much Wilson and the Hoosiers could have whooped Dukie ass with Howard and Redding piling up yardage and abusing their tacklers doing everything humanly possible to corral the next Jim Brown….and Jim Brown’s back-up.

    I hope Glass is considering a much more realistic and lengthy extension for Wilson knowing the absence of our premier back in the final games(bowl and those conference games down the stretch) made these contests likely far closer than the probable results with our NFL running back healthy. We bitch-slapped Purdue without Howard…? Correct? I think Duke would have folded like a deck of cards if they had to chase Howard and Redding for an entire game.

  25. Jordan, thanks for the time you spent at IU. I wish you the very best in fulfilling your dream of playing in the NFL. Good luck!

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