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Joe Yearby forgoes final season, leaves Hurricanes for NFL Draft

Miami running back leaves school with 2,119 rushing yards, 14 touchdowns

Miami players celebrate after a Joe Yearby touchdown in the 2016 season opener against Florida A&M.
Miami players celebrate after a Joe Yearby touchdown in the 2016 season opener against Florida A&M. (Peter Burke/Local10.com)

CORAL GABLES, Fla. – Another Miami football player has announced his intentions to leave school early and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.

Junior running back Joe Yearby said Tuesday that he will forgo his final season of eligibility with the Hurricanes.

Yearby started only 13 games in his three years at Miami, but he rushed for 2,119 yards and scored 14 touchdowns. His career rushing yards rank ninth in team history.

"After discussing this decision with my family and friends, I have decided that it would be in my best interest to enter the 2017 NFL Draft," Yearby said in a statement. "These past three years have been truly memorable and I will never forget my time here at the University of Miami, a place that has shaped me into the person I am today. Miami has been and always will be my home and I look forward to remaining a part of the South Florida community for years to come."

Yearby's best season was during his sophomore campaign in 2015, when he rushed for 1,002 yards on 205 carries. He became the ninth Miami player to surpass 1,000 rushing yards in a season.

His touches dropped off dramatically in 2016 under first-year head coach Mark Richt, carrying the football 99 times for 592 yards. Still, he scored seven rushing touchdowns -- one more than he did in 2015.

Yearby's involvement in the passing game also decreased in 2016, catching just 10 passes for 65 yards after catching 23 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns as a sophomore.

Richt said he spoke with Yearby and thanked him for everything he did for the program.


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