Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon has told the Sooners that he will enter the NFL draft, according to ESPN’s Jake Trotter and multiple reports.
Mixon’s controversial career in Norman came to a close with Oklahoma’s 35-19 victory over Auburn in Monday’s Sugar Bowl, where the third-year sophomore scored two touchdowns and gained 180 yards from scrimmage — 91 rushing on 19 carries and 89 receiving on five catches.
Mixon, a five-star recruit out of Oakley, California, and an All-Big 12 performer, was suspended for the 2014 season for assaulting a woman at a Norman, Oklahoma, deli. The ramifications of the incident resurfaced in December, more than two years later, with the release of surveillance video by order of the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
The video showed the victim, Amelia Molitor, shoving Mixon and then slapping him. Mixon then punched her in the face, breaking her jaw, eye socket and cheekbone. He received a deferred prison sentence and community service at the time.
Mixon made a tearful public apology, saying he wanted to address the issue earlier, but his legal team advised him not to. He also suggested that racial slurs were hurled at him, which he said initiated the incident.
Sooners coach Bob Stoops said after the video was released that had the episode happened in 2016, rather than in 2014, Mixon would have been kicked off the team.
Mixon finished the season with 1,274 yards and 10 touchdowns rushing and 538 yards and five touchdowns receiving.
On ability alone, ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. ranks Mixon as his fifth-highest-rated running back behind Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, D’Onta Foreman and Christian McCaffrey. But Mixon is not on Kiper’s Big Board or his list of top 10 running backs in his latest ranking.