Oklahoma junior running back Samaje Perine announced Tuesday that he’s declaring for the 2017 NFL draft, one day after becoming the Sooners’ all-time leader rusher.
The best way to go out is on top.
Samaje Perine became Oklahoma’s all-time leading rusher in the Sooners’ 35-19 win over Auburn in the Sugar Bowl on Monday, and fewer than 24 hours later took to social media to announce he will be declaring for the NFL draft.
“Playing for Oklahoma has been an incredible experience. I am so grateful for the opportunity and everyone who has been a part of it,” Perine wrote in an Instagram post. “That being said, after much consideration, I have decided to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
“Thank you to Coach Stoops, Coach Riley, Coach Boulware, Coach Gundy, and the rest of the coaching staff for always pushing me to be my best and allowing me to grow within the program. Thank you to my parents, family, friends, and girlfriend for always being there for me. Thank you to all the fans who have cheered me on as I’ve progressed through my career. I can’t express how much I appreciate all of your support these past three years. I hope to continue to make you all proud. Boomer!”
Perine ran 17 times for 86 yards and a touchdown in the Sugar Bowl, giving him 1,060 yards in just 10 games this season. He finishes his Oklahoma career with 4,122 yards, surpassing Billy Sims’ previous school record of 4,118 set from 1975-79.
Perine came to the Sooners in 2014 as a highly touted recruit and didn’t disappoint, rushing for 1,713 yards and 21 touchdowns as a freshman. Perine’s numbers declined the following year while splitting carriers with Joe Mixon, and he missed three games this season with a pulled leg muscle.
In what round Perine will be selected is anyone’s guess. He’s entering the draft in a deep year for running backs, a class that includes fellow early entrants Dalvin Cook, Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey and D’Onta Freeman.