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Joe Mixon: Character questions just another obstacle to being pro

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Mixon views himself as a first-round pick (3:13)

Joe Mixon sits down with Dan Graziano to reflect on his troubled past and looks ahead to his NFL career. (3:13)

Former Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon said Wednesday that he's "not looking for easy" as he embarks on his professional career, calling questions about his character "another obstacle I have to go through."

In an interview with ESPN's Dan Graziano, Mixon said he thinks about the July 2014 night when he hit fellow student Amelia Molitor in the face in a local restaurant, knocking her to the ground and breaking bones in her face. Mixon entered a plea on a misdemeanor assault charge and was suspended for the 2014 season after receiving a deferred one-year sentence and community service.

He ran for 1,704 yards and 23 touchdowns last season for the Sooners and then declared for the NFL draft.

"I think about it all the time," Mixon said when Graziano asked him about the night he hit Molitor. "I wish I'd never been in that situation. I wish I'd never gotten in trouble. I wish I never did what I did that night. I mean, if not, I would have been in a totally different situation."

Asked how he'd characterize the night at the restaurant, he said: "Basically, it was a bad decision that I made within a split second. Obviously it was a reaction, and if I could take it back, I would. But I can't. I can only learn from the situation. I'm not going to keep dwelling about it."

Mixon met with at least a dozen NFL teams on Tuesday, and participated in Oklahoma's pro day on Wednesday. He ran an unofficial pro day time of 4.43 seconds, which would have been the fourth-fasted time of running backs at the NFL combine, which Mixon was not invited to because of his off-the-field conduct. The NFL instituted a rule that bars players from the combine if they have misdemeanor or felony convictions involving violence against women.

"I have no control of being invited to the combine," Mixon said. "If I was able to be invited, I would have been there. I have nothing to hide."

Mixon said he was thankful teams were talking with him, and added "basically, when they see me, they come in and want to get a feel for me as a person. I just try to do whatever I can to be myself."

He said he'd been in counseling, speaking to young people as part of his community service, and preparing for a pro career.

Asked if he had a sense of where he could be drafted, Mixon said: "Teams going to do what they do."

Asked where he would draft himself, Mixon said: "First round."