UCLA junior running back Paul Perkins will enter the NFL draft, he announced Tuesday.
Perkins is the third UCLA player to make the decision to turn pro with a year of eligibility remaining, joining linebacker Myles Jack, who left school in October following a knee injury, and defensive tackle Kenny Clark, who announced his decision Monday.
Go Bruins!! pic.twitter.com/X6mq99JIF9— Paul Perkins (@Prime_Perk_24) December 30, 2015
In three years at UCLA, Perkins ran for 3,491 yards and 29 touchdowns, and he finishes third on the school’s all-time rushing list behind Johnathan Franklin (4,403) and Gaston Green (3,587). Over the past two seasons, only six players in college football have rushed for more yards than Perkins (2,918), who finished with 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns this year. He was twice named second-team All-Pac-12.
Perkins’ decision was hardly unexpected. He was eligible to leave for the NFL last season, when he led the Pac-12 with 1,575 yards rushing, so for him to return again – with 622 career carries to his credit – just wouldn’t have made sense.
True freshman Soso Jamabo, ESPN’s No. 4-ranked running back in the Class of 2015, was second on the Bruins with 403 yards on 66 carries. Between Jamabo, junior Nate Starks (50 carries, 320 yards) and sophomore Bolu Olorunfunmi (34 carries, 200 yards), UCLA should be in good shape to move on without Perkins.