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Oklahoma's Joe Mixon reiterates he's 'a different person'

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  • By Austin Knoblauch NFL.com
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Controversial draft prospect Joe Mixon reiterated Wednesday he's a "different person" from the one who punched a woman at an Oklahoma restaurant in 2014.

Speaking on The Rich Eisen Show, the Oklahoma running back said he has grown up since the incident and isn't "running from the fact that I made a huge mistake."

"I've been through a lot of situations after that and I learned a lot," Mixon told Eisen. "I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about the character of me. I just grew up from the situation and moved fast and tried to move forward in a positive manner."

Mixon is considered one of the top running backs available in the 2017 NFL Draft, which takes place in Philadelphia on April 27-29. Tied for fifth among running backs in NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock's latest positional rankings, many pundits have Mixon pegged as a potential second-round selection.

Still, some teams aren't taking a chance with the man who punched and knocked out a fellow Oklahoma student after a verbal confrontation. Mixon was suspended from the Sooners for a season and, in the criminal case, received a year of probation after reaching plea agreement with prosecutors.

Although Mixon understands some NFL clubs do not consider him draft material, he told Eisen he's visited with "around 15 teams."

"There has been a lot of teams that I've been going to, going around the country and touring around, them getting to know me as a person, and you know, we've been trying to build a relationship from there," said Mixon, who wasn't invited to participate in the NFL Scouting Combine.

Mixon said he knows he can't force his way on the draft boards of certain teams but underlined "it'll take time" for him to convince everyone he has learned from his mistakes.

"It's all about, really, maturity," Mixon said. "... If I could take that day back, I will. But I can't. Like I said, I've been doing whatever I can to improve myself as a person off the field and a player on the field. That's what I've been trying to do for the last two-and-a-half years.

"It's not a one-day thing. Nothing just goes away so quick."

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