Christopher Smith

Washington RB Bishop Sankey To Enter Draft

Created on Dec. 31, 2013 2:20 AM EST

Washington running back Bishop Sankey will bypass his senior season and enter May's NFL draft, ESPN's Joe Schad reported Monday night.

Sankey, a second-team AP All-American and Doak Walker finalist, currently projects as a consensus second-day pick.

"The time is right," Sankey said, according to CBS. "I've proven what I needed to prove. I have to look at the position I play and the number of carries."

Listed at 5-foot-10, 203 pounds, Sankey proved durable in 2013, playing in every game and carrying 327 times. He also caught 28 passes and finished his junior season with 2,174 yards of total offense with 21 touchdowns.

Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins also announced his intentions to enter the draft early, and quarterback Keith Price just finished his senior year, so new coach Chris Petersen will have to cultivate new stars on offense.

Sankey rushed for more than 1,400 yards as a sophomore on 289 carries, so he's a proven commodity in the Pac-12.

During a 31-16 Fight Hunger Bowl win against BYU, he fell five yards shy of his 10th 100-yard game, but did score two touchdowns. Sankey's other three games shy of 100 included 91 rushing yards against UCLA and 77 against Idaho on just four carries. He managed 146 total yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 loss at Stanford.

Running backs rarely get drafted in the first round, and as Sankey alluded to, physical deterioration is a nasty enemy to professional running backs. Given his regarded status as a pro prospect as well as the coaching transition at Washington, it's hard to fault his choice.

Meanwhile, Petersen formally announced his Washington coaching staff Monday, which includes eight coaches from Boise State, the Associated Press reported. Tosh Lupoi, the defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator under previous coach Steve Sarkisian, has been reassigned within the athletic department pending an investigation into alleged recruiting violations.

Brent Pease, fired by Florida coach Will Muschamp after a historically bad season for the Gators, will be offensive coordinator as previously reported. Pete Kwiatkowski, the defensive coordinator, ran a 3-4 base defense at Boise State. The staff also includes Bob Gregory, who served as interim coach for the Broncos during the Hawaii Bowl.

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