SIU's Jewel Hampton to enter NFL draft
Hampton rushed for 1,121 yards and 17 touchdowns in one season at Southern Illinois. He spent his first three years, including a redshirt season, at Iowa.
“I felt great about the people and the season we had in Carbondale, and the program is going in the right direction,” Hampton said in a statement. “I put my name in for evaluation and they said I had a good chance of getting drafted between rounds four and seven, so I had to follow my heart. It's hard to leave a place like Carbondale, where I have so many footholds now, but I need to follow my dream."
Hampton was named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Year and a second-team all-conference selection.
“We fully support Jewel's decision and wish him the very best in his pro career," Southern Illinois coach Dale Lennon said in a statement. “He clearly has both the talent and the work ethic to succeed at the next level. Jewel is a fine young man and I look forward to watching him on Sundays.”
Former Southern Illinois running backs in the NFL include Brandon Jacobs and Deji Karim.
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