Eye on the U

NFL analyst says UM football player who entered draft ‘should’ve stayed in school’

University of Miami Hurricanes running back Joseph Yearby runs the ball against FAU Owls defensive back Raekwon Williams in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game, Sat., Sept. 10, 2016, in Miami Gardens.
University of Miami Hurricanes running back Joseph Yearby runs the ball against FAU Owls defensive back Raekwon Williams in the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game, Sat., Sept. 10, 2016, in Miami Gardens. dsantiago@elnuevoherald.com

Should he have or shouldn’t he have?

Monday was the deadline for college underclassmen to declare for the NFL Draft, and NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks wrote in a column published just after the deadline that University of Miami running back Joseph Yearby was one five college players “who should’ve stayed in school.’’

The other UM underclassmen who entered the draft early were quarterback Brad Kaaya and tight end David Njoku.

Here’s what Brooks said about Yearby:

“The ‘U’ has a long history of producing NFL running backs, but scouts are uncertain if Yearby can continue the tradition after a disappointing career that featured only one 1,000-yard season in three years. Despite the 5-foot-9, 205-pound junior flashing quick feet and sneaky power as a full-time starter in 2015, he finished the 2016 campaign as the Hurricanes’ RB3. With the 2017 RB class shaping up to be one of the deepest and most talented collections of players at the position in recent memory, Yearby could find himself on the outside looking in when the draft rolls around in April.’’

For Brooks’ full column about five underclassmen who made good decisions to enter the draft and five who should have stayed in school, click here.

In 2015, Yearby, the father of two young children and a former Miami Central High All-American, totaled 1,002 rushing yards and six touchdowns, adding 273 receiving yards and another two touchdowns.

In 2016, after being supplanted by starter Mark Walton, who ran for 1,065 yards and 14 touchdowns, Yearby was given about half as many carries: 99 for 592 yards and seven touchdowns in the regular season, with three carries for 16 yards in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

His career numbers: 2,119 yards and 14 touchdowns on 376 carries for a 5.6-yards-per-carry average.

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