Buffalo RB Patterson entering NFL draft

Field Level Media

December 30, 2020 at 12:55 am.

Buffalo star running back Jaret Patterson said Tuesday that he will bypass his senior season and declare for the NFL draft.

Patterson rushed for 1,072 yards and 19 touchdowns in just six games this season. He led the nation in rushing yardage per game (178.7) and tied for second in rushing touchdowns behind Alabama’s Najee Harris (24).

Patterson finished his college career with 3,884 rushing yards and 52 touchdowns. He also had one receiving score.

“To the University at Buffalo, when I committed here, I couldn’t imagine the growth I would have as a football player, but more importantly as a young adult,” Patterson said in his announcement on Twitter. “Thank you for helping to shape me into the man I am today. …

“After much prayer, consideration, and speaking with my family, I have decided to forego my senior season and enter the 2021 NFL Draft. I am eager and excited to pursue my dream of earning a position in the NFL.”

The 5-foot-9 Patterson raised his stock with NFL scouts after rushing for 710 yards over a two-game stretch this season. He rushed for 301 yards and four touchdowns against Bowling Green and followed up with 409 yards and eight scores against Kent State.

The 409 yards are the second most in major college history behind Oklahoma’s Samaje Perine (427 in 2014). The eight touchdowns tied the record set by Howard Griffith of Illinois in 1990.

Patterson, who was named Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year, missed the Bulls’ 17-10 victory over Marshall in the Camellia Bowl. Buffalo finished 6-1.

Patterson rushed for 1,013 yards and 14 touchdowns as a freshman before exploding for 1,799 yards and 19 scores as a sophomore.