|Joseph Randle leaves Oklahoma State with 3,085 career rushing yards and 40 rushing touchdowns. (US Presswire)|
Oklahoma State's Joseph Randle has decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL Draft, the running back announced on Thursday.
I want to thank all of #CowboyNation for the best 3 years of my life. Also to the best coaches in the nation for this opportunity.— Joseph Randle (@JRAN_1) January 10, 2013
I've decided to pursue my dream of playing in the NFL. I'll always be a Cowboys!— Joseph Randle (@JRAN_1) January 10, 2013
In a season that featured only three 1,000-yard rushers in the Big 12, Randle was arguably the most dominant running back in the league. Randle was one of four unanimous selections to the All-Big 12 First Team after totaling 1,351 yards and 14 touchdowns in the regular season.
CBSSports.com currently has Randle as the No. 84 overall prospect, ranking as the No. 5 running back in the 2013 class. The 6-foot, 200 pound running back is projected to be a second- or third-round pick.
"Randle has a leaner-than-ideal frame and there are some questions about his ability to carry the load, but he works well through traffic and shows the balance to stay on his feet after first contact," says CBSSports.com NFL Draft analyst Dane Brugler. "He has excellent acceleration and wastes little time hitting his second gear through the hole, using his outstanding vision to find room to run both as a rusher and receiver."
Randle emerged for Oklahoma State a freshman in 2010, backing up current San Francisco 49er Kendall Hunter. After averaging 5.59 yards per carry, the Cowboys' running back broke out with 1,216 yards and 24 touchdowns during Oklahoma State's memorable Big 12 title run in 2011.
The Cowboys' offenses under coach Mike Gundy have highlighted future NFL wide receivers -- Dez Bryant, Justin Blackmon, but always needed a strong running game to maintain balance. In his two years as a starter, Randle helped continue a streak of 1,000-yard rushers at Oklahoma State that dates back to 2007.
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