SEATTLE — Bishop Sankey is taking his talents to the next level.
Washington’s junior running back, who set the school’s single-season rushing record this season with 1,870 yards, will forgo his senior season and enter the NFL draft, his father, Chris, confirmed on Monday.
Sankey joins tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins as the second draft-eligible junior from UW to decide to leave school early. Seferian-Jenkins informed reporters of his decision after Washington’s victory over BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday.
Sankey’s father wrote in a text message that his son has not yet hired an agent.
The record-setting running back from Spokane’s Gonzaga Prep leaves UW as the third-leading rusher in school history with 3,496 yards, and his 37 career rushing touchdowns top Napolean Kaufman’s 34 for the
most in school history.
Sankey, who was one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, ranks third nationally in rushing yards and fourth in rushing yards per game (143.8). He told reporters last week that he received a third-round grade from the NFL college advisory committee.
Sankey told ESPN that his decision was motivated by the physical toll imposed upon running backs.
“I’ve proven what I needed to prove,” Sankey told ESPN. “I have to look at the position I play, and the number of carries.
“I can learn a playbook quickly. I am versatile. I can pass-block and I can catch the ball.”
By eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark in each of the past two seasons, Sankey gave the Huskies a 1,000-yard rusher in each of Steve Sarkisian’s five seasons as UW’s coach. Chris Polk, who started from 2009-11, also left UW with a year of eligibility remaining.
Polk wasn’t drafted — his injury history may have hampered him — but he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent and is still on their roster.
Sankey remained relatively healthy throughout his UW career, though a hand injury kept him out of the fourth quarter of Friday’s game.
If he is drafted, Sankey will be the first Washington running back to be selected since Rashaan Shehee was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round in 1998.
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