Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans has decided to enter the NFL draft, he said in a teleconference on Thursday. A redshirt junior in 2010, the native of Indianapolis, Ind., had one year of eligibility remaining with the Hokies in 2011.
"I've decided to declare for the draft, turn pro," he said.
Evans said this whole time he was "leaning towards leaving."
He said the decision was based solely on the opportunity to play in the NFL -- not Virginia Tech's results this season, or the amount of carries he got. He said he's "not in a big rush" to sign with an agent.
"It's an opportunity I feel I need to jump on, and I'm blessed to have it, so I'm going to do it."
He said he has no idea what teammate Ryan Williams will do.
From Virginia Tech's release:
"Darren is really a quality player and a quality person," coach Frank Beamer said in a prepared statement. "We've enjoyed having him here at Virginia Tech. He has been very much a part of our success, and we know he is going to have a great pro career."
Evans played in 28 games for the Hokies, starting 18. After redshirting in 2007, Evans had a monster year as a redshirt freshman.
He rushed for 1,265 yards and 11 touchdowns to earn first-team All-ACC accolades and ACC Rookie of the Year honors. He capped off the season with 153 rushing yards in the Orange Bowl win over Cincinnati to earn the game's MVP award. He suffered a setback in the preseason of 2009, tearing his ACL in practice and thus missed the entire season.
This year, he came back and led the team in rushing yards and touchdowns as the Hokies won the ACC title. He ran for 854 yards and 11 touchdowns, starting nine games. For his career, he rushed for 2,119 yards and 22 touchdowns. His yardage total is the 16th-most in school history.
"I'm very happy for Darren and his family," running backs coach Billy Hite said. "At the same time, I'm very sad because of the kind of player he is and he's an even better person than he is a player. We're really going to miss him in our football program and I obviously want to wish him the best of luck with his future in the NFL."