Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon is heading to NFL

Dr. Saturday

Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon’s controversial time at the school is over.

After multiple reports, including from ESPN and the Oklahoman, emerged Thursday night, Mixon confirmed he is leaving Oklahoma for the NFL after three years at the school.

He starred the last two seasons for the Sooners after a suspension meant he redshirted his freshman season. Mixon was suspended for the 2014 season after he punched a woman, Amelia Molitor, in a Norman, Oklahoma, restaurant in July of that year.

Mixon entered an Alford plea after he was charged with assault. The surveillance tape of Mixon’s devastating punch to Molitor — she suffered broken facial bones in the incident — was released in December following an Oklahoma Supreme Court ruling that the tape was part of the public record in the case.

The tape’s release reignited discussion about what Mixon did and his place on the team, leading OU coach Bob Stoops to curiously note that Mixon would be dismissed instead of suspended (and subsequently reinstated) if he had thrown the punch in 2016.

After Stoops’ comments following the release of the tape, Mixon answered questions and publicly apologized for what happened nearly 2 1/2 years ago. The running back said in that media availability that he wished to speak about his actions sooner, but couldn’t on the advice of legal counsel. A civil suit by Molitor vs. Mixon is pending.

Mixon ran for 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2016 after rushing for 753 yards and seven scores in 2015. He also had 894 receiving yards and nine touchdowns over the two seasons.

He starred in OU’s Sugar Bowl win over Auburn on Monday, rushing 19 times for 91 yards and two scores while catching five passes for 89 yards. ESPN broadcaster Brent Musburger uncomfortably wished Mixon well in the NFL during the broadcast.

Mixon has the talent to be an early-round pick in the NFL. He told ESPN’s Jake Trotter he received a first round grade from the draft advisory board, but there’s no guarantee the former five-star recruit will be chosen in the first rounds of the 2017 draft given the public nature of the surveillance tape.

Former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was cut after surveillance tape was released showing him punching his wife in an elevator. The tape’s release was months after the Ravens initially supported Rice and kept him on the team’s roster and Rice was given a two-game suspension by the NFL.

Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver and kick returner Tyreek Hill was dismissed from Oklahoma State after the 2014 season and pled guilty to a charge that he punched and choked his pregnant girlfriend in December 2014.

After spending a year at West Alabama, Hill was drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL draft by the Chiefs and has quickly become one of the NFL’s most dynamic players. But unlike Rice and Mixon, the public hasn’t seen a video of what Hill did. We’ll find out in five months if Rice’s absence from the NFL or Hill’s status as a late-round pick resembles Mixon’s near-term NFL future.

For more Oklahoma news, visit SoonerScoop.com.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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