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Penn State

Miles Sanders declares for NFL Draft, will leave Penn State after three seasons

Jerry DiPaola
| Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, 1:24 p.m.
Kentucky safety Davonte Robinson, left, stops Penn State running back Miles Sanders (24) after a short gain during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Kentucky safety Davonte Robinson, left, stops Penn State running back Miles Sanders (24) after a short gain during the first half of the Citrus Bowl NCAA college football game, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

For Miles Sanders, starting at running back for Penn State was a one-and-done experience.

Sanders, a Woodland Hills graduate who was one of the WPIAL’s most coveted recruits less than three years ago, announced Thursday via Twitter he will give up his senior season at Penn State and enter this year’s NFL Draft.

After Penn State’s loss to Kentucky in the Citrus Bowl on Tuesday, Sanders said he planned to take some time to make his decision.

“It’s going to be the hardest decision of my life,” Sanders said at the time.

In deciding to leave Penn State after three seasons, he wrote on Twitter, “As I prepare for the road ahead, I truly believe this is the next best step for my future.”

Sanders started only the 2018 season after serving as Saquon Barkley’s understudy in 2016 and '17. When Barkley left early for the NFL last year, Sanders became the Nittany Lions’ marquee running back. He rushed for 1,274 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. He also was one of Penn State’s most reliable pass catchers with 24 receptions for 139 yards.

As a backup for two seasons, he totaled 375 yards and three touchdowns on 56 carries (6.7 average).

Sanders’ backup last season was first-year freshman Ricky Slade, who carried 45 times for 257 yards and six touchdowns.

Sanders is the fifth Penn State underclassman since the end of the season to declare his intention to leave school early for the NFL, joining offensive linemen Ryan Bates and Connor McGovern, defensive tackle Kevin Givens and defensive end Shareef Miller.

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