SEATTLE — Bishop Sankey is taking his talents to the next level.
Washington’s junior running back, who set the school’s single-season rushing record this season with 1,870 yards, will forego his senior season and enter the NFL draft, his father, Chris, confirmed on Monday.
Sankey joins tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins as the second draft-eligible junior from UW to decide to leave school early. Seferian-Jenkins informed reporters of his decision after Washington’s victory over Brigham Young in the Fight Hunger Bowl on Friday.
Sankey’s father wrote in a text message that his son has not yet hired an agent.
The record-setting running back from Spokane’s Gonzaga Prep leaves UW as the third-leading rusher in school history with 3,496 yards, and his two touchdowns in the Fight Hunger Bowl pulled him into a first-place tie for the school’s career rushing touchdown record of 38.
Sankey, who was one of three finalists for the Doak Walker Award, currently ranks third nationally in total rushing yards, and ranks fourth in rushing yards per game (143.8). He told reporters last week that he received a third-round grade from the NFL college advisory committee.
Sankey told Joe Schad of ESPN that his decision was motivated by the physical toll imposed upon running backs.
“I’ve proven what I needed to prove,” Sankey told Schad. “I have to look at the position I play, and the number of carries.
“I can learn a playbook quickly. I am versatile. I can pass block and I can catch the ball.”
By eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark in each of the past two seasons, Sankey gave the Huskies a 1,000-yard rusher in each of Steve Sarkisian’s five seasons as UW’s coach. Chris Polk, who started from 2009-11, also left UW with a year of eligibility remaining.
Polk wasn’t drafted — his injury history may have hampered him — but he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles as a free agent and is still on their roster.
Sankey remained relatively healthy throughout his UW career, though a hand injury kept him out of the fourth quarter of Friday’s game.
If he is drafted, he will be the first running back from Washington to be selected since Rashaan Shehee was picked by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round of the 1998 draft.