The last domino to fall for Oklahoma was revealed Thursday evening as sources close to running back Joe Mixon have confirmed to Sooners Illustrated and other media outlets that Mixon will not come back for his redshirt junior season and will enter the NFL Draft.
Mixon was sensational in helping the Sooners to a 35-19 victory against Auburn in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Monday evening. He had 19 carries for 91 yards and two touchdowns to go with five catches for 89 yards.
A cloud of controversy has followed Mixon the last three seasons, especially in the last month after Mixon and his attorneys elected to release the surveillance video of Mixon punching a female student in the face on July 25, 2014.
Mixon was in an altercation with Amelia Molitor and broke several bones in her face and was suspended for the entire 2014 season and was not allowed to participate in any team activities for the season.
He had to earn his way back into the good graces of the team and the university but did just that in the eyes of head coach Bob Stoops and university president David Boren.
Mixon, a former five-star prospect from Oakley, Calif., found his groove this season. He finished the year with 1,274 rushing yards with 10 touchdowns and 538 receiving yards with five more scores in helping the Sooners to close out on a 10-game winning streak.
Since Mixon is three years removed from high school, he is eligible for the NFL Draft.
There was some speculation about Mixon and his legal team opting to release the video last month as a precursor to him eventually announcing he would leave OU to enter the NFL Draft.
Mixon is the second OU running back from the 2014 class to declare for the draft. Samaje Perine, who is now OU’s all-time leading rusher, did the same thing Tuesday morning via an Instagram post.
Mixon issued a formal apology for punching Molitor two months ago but publicly addressed the situation for the first time two weeks ago in 25-minute press conference Dec. 23.
Based on talent, ESPN has ranked Mixon as the No. 5 running back for the 2017 draft. Mixon said after the Sugar Bowl that he hadn’t had any discussions about what he was going to do. With the Sugar Bowl in the rear-view mirror, Mixon was able to make his decision.
The departures of Mixon and Perine leaves OU with Abdul Adams and Rodney Anderson on campus. The Sooners have also reloaded for the 2017 class with Scout 300 prospects Trey Sermon and Kennedy Brooks and Scout Juco 100 prospect Marcelias Sutton.
Mixon confirmed the reports later Thursday evening: