Bishop Sankey, the greatest single-season rusher in University of Washington football history, will bypass his senior season and enter the NFL draft, according to multiple reports, including Sankey’s own comments and reactions to it on Twitter. Sankey, who said before Friday’s Fight Hunger Bowl game that his decision to enter the draft was imminent, has been projected as a second-round or third-round pick.
Sankey ran for 1,775 regular-season yards and 18 touchdowns, the yardage mark breaking Corey Dillon’s school record of 1,695 set in 1996. Sankey added 95 yards and two touchdowns on a pair of 11-yard runs in Washington’s bowl win over Brigham Young before departing the game at the end of the third quarter with a hand injury.
“The time is right,” said Sankey, a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as the nation’s top running back. “I’ve proven what I needed to prove. I have to look at the position I play and the number of carries.”
Sankey’s announcement comes two days after Austin Seferian-Jenkins, also a junior and the Mackey Award winner as the nation’s top tight end, announced he will bypass his senior season and enter the draft.
Sankey, who also caught 28 passes for 304 yards and a touchdown as Washington finished 9-4, its most wins in a season since 2000, rushed for 3,496 yards and scored 38 touchdowns in his Husky career. The 38 touchdowns are tied for the most in school history.
Sankey carried the ball 616 times in his sophomore and junior seasons, finishing his career as one of four Huskies to twice post 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
ESPN’s Joe Schad quoted Sankey on his Twitter account as saying, “I can learn a playbook quickly. I am versatile. I can pass block and I can catch the ball.”
On his Twitter account, Marques Tuiasosopo, who served as interim head coach in Washington’s bowl win over BYU and, on Sunday, announced he would join Steve Sarkisian’s staff at USC, said, “Sankey good luck to you! You’ll be great!”
Another factor in Sankey’s decision: With new head coach Chris Petersen, formerly of Boise State, taking over, the Huskies will have a new coaching staff.