Devine Redding is ready to take his talents to the next level.
The Indiana Hoosiers running back declared for the NFL Draft on Friday, announcing the news on his Twitter account. Redding had one year left of eligibility remaining.
I'm excited to announce the next phase in my journey. Thank you all for making it possible. pic.twitter.com/r3i8NGEGLk
Indiana Hoosiers Running Back Devine Redding Declares for NFL Draft
Redding is the third IU running back in as many years to turn pro a year early. Jordan Howard did so after last season, getting drafted in the fifth round by the Chicago Bears. A year earlier, Tevin Coleman made the move to the NFL after his junior year and was picked by the Atlanta Falcons in the third round.
Both former Hoosiers have become regular contributors early on in their pro careers. Howard broke Matt Forte‘s Bears rookie rushing record by gaining 1,313 yards on the ground in 2016. Meanwhile, Coleman accounted for 27 percent of the Falcons rushing yards while adding eight touchdowns during his second season in Atlanta.
The 5’10”, 208 pound Redding is now looking to follow in their footsteps. He finished the 2016 season with a career high 1,112 yards on the ground and was one of nine Big Ten running backs to eclipse the 1,000 rushing yards plateau. He added seven touchdowns, including two in a loss to Penn State where the Hoosiers led 31-28 in the fourth quarter.
Redding’s standout performance in an IU uniform came in the 2015 Pinstripe Bowl against Duke. The Youngstown, OH native rushed for 227 yards on 35 carries in the narrow 44-41 overtime defeat for the Hoosiers.
A year later, Redding’s fourth quarter score gave Indiana a 24-23 lead in the Foster Farms Bowl against Utah. Only a late field goal from the Utes prevented the Cream and Crimson from notching their first postseason win in 25 years.
What’s Next for the Hoosiers at Running Back?
As a result of Redding’s departure, Indiana heads into the 2017 season lacking experience at the position. Tyler Natee is the only returning player among running backs who rushed for more than 200 yards in 2016. Camion Patrick, who came to IU as a wide receiver but is transitioning to running back, is expected to see an expanded role next year.