Joe Mixon has decided to turn pro

Joe Mixon
Embattled running back Joe Mixon is declaring for the NFL Draft.

Oklahoma has lost their second running back to the NFL in a matter of days (Samaje Perine declared on Tuesday) as redshirt sophomore running back Joe Mixon has made the decision to turn pro.

This is something of a 180′ from Mixon, who had previously indicated that he intended to return to Norman for his junior season.  Interestingly, that likely played a big role in Perine’s decision to declare.

While immensely talented, Mixon is going to be a divisive prospect for NFL teams given his checkered history.

The running back was suspended for the 2014 season after he punched a woman at a deli near campus.

Mixon claims that the woman used a racial slur against him and spit in his face.

Things died down for a while, but this became a major story again in December when a video from the incident was released.  It shows the woman, Amelia Molitor, pushing Mixon and then slapping him.

Mixon responded by punching Molitor in the face, breaking her jaw, eye socket and cheekbone in the process.

The young athlete made a tearful public apology last month, stating that he wanted to address the situation sooner, but that his legal team advised him against it.

Mixon flew into Oklahoma Thursday to inform his coaches about the decision to leave school in person.  Head Coach Bob Stoops was out of town, but the pair spoke on the phone.

“I told him I had prayed with my family, and we came up that the best decision was to enter the draft,” Mixon said. “I just thanked him for everything he did with me, giving me a second chance, sticking by me, never giving up on me.”

“He said, ‘Just keep being the person you are — you’re a great person. Keep your head straight,'” Mixon said. “Basically, that I’ll have a great career in the NFL.”

Mixon capped off his Sooners career with a sensational performance against Auburn in the team’s bowl game.  He ran 19 times for 91 yards and caught five passes for another 89 yards while scoring a pair of touchdowns on the day.

The 6-1. 226-pound runner finished the season second nationally in all-purpose yardage and was an All-Big 12 selection.  He said he received a first-round grade from the NFL advisory committee.

Due to off-the-field issues, Mixon ranks as the #9 running back in the 2019 class by NFL Draft Scout.

On pure talent alone, only running backs Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook are clearly ahead of him, but teams are going to be wary about an incident as serious as Mixon’s.

Here’s his announcement via Twitter:


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