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Penn State RB Saquon Barkley intends to enter 2018 draft

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Penn State RB Saquon Barkley announced he will forgo his senior year with the Nittany Lions and apply for early eligibility to enter the 2018 NFL Draft, adding one of the elite rushers in college football to the draft pool. He revealed his intentions via Instagram:

Barkley capped a brilliant three-year career with a win over Washington in the Fiesta Bowl, combining size (5-foot-11, 230 pounds) and power with the quickness and elusiveness of a smaller back. He rushed for over 1,000 yards and averaged more than five yards per carry in each of his three seasons at PSU. NFL scouts will also find an accomplished receiver in their evaluations of the junior. He posted his best receiving season in 2017 (47 catches, 594 yards), and has shown the ability to not only catch screen passes but is effective on downfield routes, as well.

College underclassmen have until a Jan. 15 deadline to file for early draft eligibility.

Barkley won the Paul Hornung Award this year as the nation's most versatile player, and was also named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. He has drawn comparisons to some of the top young rushers in the NFL, including Ezekiel Elliott and David Johnson. NFL.com analyst Chad Reuter believes he has a strong opportunity to reach a Pro Bowl early in his career.

Other running backs who intend to enter the draft as underclassmen include Tennessee's John Kelly and Miami's Mark Walton.

Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter @ChaseGoodbread.

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