Indiana running back Stevie Scott III will forego his final two seasons of eligibility and declare for the NFL Draft, he announced Saturday.
“What a ride it has been, coming to IU ... has been a life-changing experience for me,” Scott wrote on social media. “I’ve made so many memories and built many relationships on and off the field that I will cherish for a lifetime.
"Changing the culture of Indiana football was a big goal of min(e) and we did that! I want to thank Coach (Tom) Allen and (running backs) Coach (Mike) Hart for both believing in me and my potential and helping me prepare for the next chapter. I would like to thank my parents for their sacrifices in order for me to be where I am today."
Scott was an All-Big Ten performer in all three seasons he was on campus, running for 1,137 yards as a freshman in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 230-pound back scored 10 rushing touchdowns for three straight years and finished his career with 2,926 all-purpose yards. He ran for 4.5 yards per carry and had at least 100 yards on the ground in a game nine times.
He ranks fourth all-time among IU players in rushing touchdowns (30), fifth in total touchdowns (32) and ninth in rushing yards (2,543).
Scott's departure comes in the wake of the news that Hart, who is from the same home town as Scott – Syracuse, New York – will leave the Hoosiers to become the running backs coach at Michigan, his alma mater.
With Scott leaving, former four-star recruit Sampson James becomes the likely lead back for Indiana next season. The Avon native is the highest-ranked offensive recruit to sign with the Hoosiers since 247sports.com began ranking players individually in 2000. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound James ran just 32 times for 96 yards this season after breaking the 100-yard barrier for the first time in college in Indiana's 2019 regular-season finale against Purdue.
James will have competition from Tim Baldwin, a true freshman in 2020 who showed promise with 6.4 yards per carry on 22 attempts. The Hoosiers also will likely continue to get all-purpose speedster David Ellis some carries and class of 2021 recruit David Holloman will get an opportunity, as well.
Indiana has had quite a bit of roster turnover since its Outback Bowl loss to Ole Miss on Jan. 2. Scott, defensive linemen Jerome Johnson and Jovan Swann, offensive lineman Harry Crider, slot receiver Whop Philyor and safety Jamar Johnson are all headed to the NFL. Wide receiver Ty Fryfogle, safety/linebacker Marcelino Ball, defensive back Raheem Layne, offensive guard Mackenzie Nworah, and defensive end Mike Ziemba have all elected to return. Indiana also added a pair of transfers in Ole Miss defensive end Ryder Anderson and Michigan offensive lineman Zach Carpenter.
Among those who could theoretically leave for the NFL but have not yet officially announced a decision are All-American linebacker Micah McFadden and All-Big Ten quarterback Michael Penix Jr. Both have multiple years of eligibility remaining.