Oklahoma running back Samaje Perine intends to apply for early eligibility to enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
With a strong build and a powerful running style, Perine (5-feet-10, 235 pounds) would be well-suited for an NFL club looking for more production between the tackles from the position. He has been a three-year starter for the Sooners, though his production has fallen since his freshman year in 2014. Perine ran for 1,713 yards and 21 touchdowns that season, and stamped his name on a prestigious NCAA record. A week after Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon broke LaDainian Tomlinson's FBS single-game rushing record with 408 yards, Perine broke Gordon's mark with 427 against Kansas. Perine rushed for 1,349 yards as a sophomore, on 37 fewer carries under new offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley, and 1,060 as a junior this year -- an injury sidelined him for three games. He still became the school's all-time leading rusher on Tuesday in a Sugar Bowl win over Auburn.
College underclassmen face a Jan. 16 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility.
The 2017 draft class at the running back position is expected to be loaded with talent. Perine is the latest among several highly regarded underclassmen at his position to announce intentions to enter the draft, including LSU's Leonard Fournette, FSU's Dalvin Cook, Pitt's James Conner, Texas' D'Onta Foreman, Clemson's Wayne Gallman and Stanford's Christian McCaffrey.