Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins declares for 2020 NFL draft

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Nick Bromberg
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J.K. Dobbins’ final game at Ohio State was the Fiesta Bowl. Dobbins said Monday that he was forgoing his senior season and declaring for the 2020 NFL draft.

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“Dear Ohio State, thank you for everything,” Dobbins wrote. “Coming to Ohio from Texas has been nothing short of a dream. I’ve built relationships that will last me a lifetime at this great university. I’ve created bonds with my brothers on the teams for the past three years that will never be broken.”

“Buckeye nation, thank you for all the incredible memories. I love you guys more than you will ever know.”

Dobbins’ draft declaration is hardly a surprise. Star running backs like him are wise to head to the NFL as soon as they are draft-eligible. He should be an early pick.

Dobbins rushed for 2,003 yards in 2019

Dobbins cracked the 2,000-yard mark for 2019 in Ohio State’s 29-23 loss to Clemson on Saturday night. He finished the season with 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns after he rushed 18 times for 174 yards in the bowl game despite injuring his left ankle in the second quarter.

Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins carries for a touchdown during the first half of the team's Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game playoff semifinal against Clemson on Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins broke the 2,000-yard mark in OSU's loss to Clemson. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Dobbins missed time at the end of the second quarter and at the beginning of the third after he was tackled awkwardly. He tried to return just after halftime but had to go back to the locker room to get his ankle re-taped before he could continue.

Dobbins topped 1,000 yards in each of his three seasons at Ohio State and was sixth in the Heisman voting in 2019. He broke onto the scene as a freshman with 1,403 yards and seven touchdowns in 2017 as he averaged over seven yards a carry. His yards per carry dipped below five in 2018 as he rushed for 1,053 yards and 10 scores before re-establishing himself as one of the best backs in the country this season.

And the running back class in the 2020 NFL draft could be one of the best in recent memory. Florida State’s Cam Akers, Arizona State’s Eno Benjamin, Boston College’s AJ Dillon and UCF’s Adrian Killins have already declared, while players like Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor and Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard could declare for the draft before the deadline on Jan. 20.

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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.

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