Buffalo junior RB Jaret Patterson declares for NFL draft

Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson is foregoing his senior year by declaring for the NFL draft on Tuesday following a season in which he matched several national records.

Patterson announced the decision on his Twitter account five days after Buffalo (6-1) completed its season with a 17-10 win over Marshall in the Camellia Bowl.

The decision does not come as a surprise after Patterson reversed course and elected to not play against Marshall a few days before the game. Patterson sat out rather than risk aggravating an injury to his right knee sustained in Buffalo’s loss to Ball State in the Mid-American Conference championship game on Dec. 18.

Patterson this week joined current Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack in becoming the Bulls’ second player to earn All-America honors. He was selected to the second team.

“I am eager and excited to pursue my dream of earning a position in the NFL,” Patterson wrote in the message, which included him pictured in his Bulls No. 26 uniform. “I will be (hash)foreverabull.”

In six games, the 21-year-old from Maryland led the nation with 178.7 yards rushing per outing and finished with 1,072 yards. He matched his own school record from 2019 with 19 touchdowns rushing.

In Buffalo’s regular-season finale against Akron, Patterson matched a major college football record by becoming the 12th player to reach 1,000 yards rushing in just five games.

He gained national attention last month after finishing with 409 yards rushing and matching a single-game major college record by scoring eight touchdowns in a 70-41 win at Kent State. His rushing total was the second-best in FBS history, and was 18 yards shy of the record set by Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine in 2014.

Patterson had 301 yards rushing the previous week to join former Texas star Ricky Williams as the second college player to top 300 yards in consecutive weeks.

Patterson thanked his family, coaches, teammates, professors and fellow students for their support and guidance during his three years at Buffalo. He wrote he was especially grateful to the football program for “taking a chance on me and opening the door when many others closed it.”

Buffalo was among the few schools willing to offer Patterson and his twin brother James a scholarship. The two were a package deal, with James Patterson, a linebacker, attracting more attention. Jaret Patterson was often overlooked because he was just 5-foot-9.

Patterson went on to top 1,000 yards rushing in each of his three seasons. He finished with 3,884 yards rushing – 165 short of matching the school record held by Brandon “Bo” Oliver – and 53 touchdowns (including one receiving) in 32 career games.

“To my teammates, my brothers, we battled through adversity and have rewritten the record books,” Patterson wrote. “I will forever cherish the laughs and the memories that we have created together. We have a brotherhood and a bond that can never be broken.”

Vick, Fitzgerald and Suggs among stars on College Football Hall of Fame ballot for 1st time

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Michael Vick, Larry Fitzgerald and Terrell Suggs are among the college football stars who will be considered for induction to the Hall of Fame for the first time this year.

The National Football Foundation released Monday a list of 78 players and nine coaches from major college football who are on the Hall of Fame ballot. There also are 101 players and 32 coaches from lower divisions of college football up for consideration.

Vick, who led Virginia Tech to the BCS championship game against Florida State as a redshirt freshman in 1999, is among the most notable players appearing on the ballot in his first year of eligibility.

Vick finished third in the Heisman Trophy voting in 1999. He played one season of college football before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Atlanta Falcons in 2001. Vick’s professional career was interrupted when he served 21 months in prison for his involvement in dog fighting.

Fitzgerald was the Heisman runner-up in 2003 to Oklahoma quarterback Jason White. He scored 34 touchdowns in just two seasons at Pitt.

Suggs led the nation in sacks with 24 in 2002 for Arizona State.

The 2024 Hall of Fame class will be chosen by the National Football Foundation’s Honors Court and announced in January. Induction into the Atlanta-based hall is the following December.

Alabama freshman DB Mitchell says he wasn’t sure he’d get to play again after arrest

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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama defensive back Tony Mitchell said he feared his football career was over after his arrest on a drug charge.

The Crimson Tide freshman said in a video posted Sunday on social media that he knew “something much bigger could have happened.”

A judge in Holmes County, Florida, sentenced Mitchell to three years of probation with a fine and community service on May 24 after Mitchell pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of more than 20 grams of cannabis.

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to play football again, but I continued to work out and stay close with the Lord and those who love me unconditionally,” Mitchell said. “During those times, it helped me to keep my mind off it. But when I was by myself looking at social media, what everybody had to say about it, it just felt like it happened again.

“I didn’t sleep at night.”

He was suspended from the Alabama team following the arrest, but Mitchell’s father, Tony Sr., posted on Facebook last week that the defensive back had been reinstated. An Alabama spokesman declined to comment on Mitchell’s status.

Tony Mitchell Sr. shared his son’s video on Facebook, saying it was filmed during a talk to youth.

“I was doing things I knew I shouldn’t to try to fit in,” the younger Mitchell said, “but not everybody’s your friend.”

Mitchell, who is from Alabaster, Alabama, was a four-star prospect and the 15th-rated safety in the 247Composite rankings.

He had been charged in March with possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell after a traffic stop when authorities said he drove over 141 mph (227 kph) while trying to evade deputies in the Florida Panhandle. A deputy had spotted Mitchell’s black Dodge Challenger traveling 78 mph (125 kph) in a 55 mph (88 kph) zone on a rural highway north of Bonifay.

He also received 100 hours of community service and paid a fine of $1,560.

Mitchell and a passenger were both charged with possession of marijuana with the intent to sell or deliver, according to a Holmes County Sheriff’s Office arrest report. The other man also was charged with carrying a concealed gun without a permit.