ASU running back Eno Benjamin to declare for 2020 NFL Draft

Dec 11, 2019, 10:44 AM | Updated: 2:45 pm

Running back Eno Benjamin #3 of the Arizona State Sun Devils rushes the football against the Utah U...

Running back Eno Benjamin #3 of the Arizona State Sun Devils rushes the football against the Utah Utes during the first half of the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on November 3, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Arizona State Sun Devils running back Eno Benjamin will skip his senior season at ASU and instead declare for the 2020 NFL Draft, he and the school announced via Twitter on Wednesday.

Benjamin just wrapped up the regular season of his junior year, eligibility-wise, but the school’s tweet said he already graduated.

“I want to thank Coach Herm and every other coach that has contributed to my success on and off the field,” Benjamin said in a statement. “Thank you, Arizona State University. I’ve enjoyed my three years here and I have made memories with my brothers that will last beyond this lifetime. With that being said, I have decided to forgo my senior year and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.”

The Texas native was a consensus four-star prospect coming out of high school and enrolled early at ASU in 2017, his freshman year. He had 23 carries his first season behind Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard on the depth chart, but broke out as the clear No. 1 back in 2018.

Benjamin amassed 2,867 rushing yards in his career at Arizona State, the upcoming Sun Bowl notwithstanding, should he choose to play. He played 35 games and scored 27 touchdowns on the ground and four more through the air, and ranked fourth in program history in 100-yard rushing games with 15.

In 2018 against Oregon State, Benjamin set the school record for single-game rushing yards with 312 on 30 carries. He also has the single-season school record for rushing with 1,642 yards in 2018.

“It has been my pleasure to coach Eno these last two seasons. His contributions to this university cannot be understated, and that goes beyond his historical performances on the field,” head coach Herm Edwards said in a statement. “He has been a role model in the classroom and an incredible ambassador for Sun Devil Athletics in his community engagement.

“Eno exemplifies everything we hope to achieve with the young men that come through this program and I look forward to seeing him represent Arizona State at the next level.”

Benjamin ranked only 35th in the nation this year in rushing yards, but his explosiveness as a runner and previous standout performances — especially an impressive sophomore campaign — could help his case as an asset in the draft. Elsewhere, Clemson’s Travis Etienne, Ohio State’s J.K. Dobbins and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor are among the top backs in the nation. All of those players are juniors.

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