Rutgers sophomore running back Jawan Jamison will not return next season. Instead, the 1,000-yard rusher will forgo his final two years of eligibility and declare for the 2013 NFL Draft. He received a third-round grade after putting in papers for evaluation, then came to a final decision this week, he said.
"The grade that I got back was a very good grade and I thought it was the best situation for me and my family and I feel at this point in time I’m ready for the NFL,” Jamison said. “ ... (The third-round grade] actually surprised me. I was excited for that. I feel like we made the best decision and that’s why I decided to leave.”
Jamison ran for 1,075 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore, the first to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark since Ray Rice did it three times.
The 5-foot-8, 200-pound back out of the Bolles School (Stark, Fla.) has 1,972 career rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Jamison earned New Era Pinstripe Bowl MVP honors as a freshman.
"I feel like I can catch it out of the backfield, I feel like I can run between the tackles or outside, and I can pass protect, too,” Jamison said. “I feel like I can do it all.”
Jamison is the second Rutgers player to declare for the 2013 NFL draft, following junior cornerback Logan Ryan. Ryan announced his plans to enter the draft earlier in the week, but is closer to getting his degree as a fourth-year player.
Rutgers has fewer depth concerns at running back than at cornerback, however. Highlighted by five-star recruit Savon Huggins, who had a career game against Cincinnati this season, the Scarlet Knights return shifty redshirt freshman Desmon Peoples and impressive walk-on Paul James.
Rutgers adds Middletown (Del.) running back Dontea Ayres next week as an early freshman enrollee.
"Jawan has been an exciting player for us during his career,” said Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood. “He is a running back with tremendous vision, great balance and has the gift to make people miss in the open field. We wish Jawan well as he begins his journey to play in the NFL.”