2018 NFL Draft: Mark Walton announces he will turn pro, thanks Miami Hurricanes

Mark Walton, who earned a bunch of helmet stickers for his performance against Florida A&M, earned many more during his four-touchdown night against FAU. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

Mark Walton put up four touchdowns against FAU last September. (Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post)

[Miami-Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl]

Mark Walton has made it official: he is going pro.

In a statement he tweeted Tuesday, the rehabbing junior running back plans to forgo his remaining college eligibility, making him one of the top running backs available in the upcoming NFL draft class.

“As many of you may have already heard, I have decided to pursue my dream and enter the 2018 NFL draft,” Walton wrote. “I gave everything I have to the University of Miami over the past three years and have learned many life lessons that I will cherish forever.”

He thanked Mark Richt and his staff for “believing in my ability,” his teammates and fans for “always supporting us through the good times and the bad.” He signed his statement with, “The U is back. Go Canes.”

Mark Walton speaks during a press conference at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C. (Getty Images)

Mark Walton speaks during a press conference at the ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, N.C. (Getty Images)

Walton, who had 1,117 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore, was on his way to surpassing those totals when he injured his right ankle Oct. 7 at Florida State. The injury ended his season.

Late last month, Neil Stratton of InsideTheLeague.com reported Walton signed with agent Zac Hiller, who reportedly represents Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, formerly of Florida State.

NFL Draft Scout rates Walton as a third-rounder and sixth among running backs. He is 83rd on CBS Sports’ overall draft board, 11th among running backs.

Walton finished his Miami career with 2,006 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns on 395 carries; 624 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 56 catch; and 2,630 yards from scrimmage and 28 total touchdowns.

He ranks fifth all-time at UM in rushing touchdowns (tied with Duke Johnson, Melvin Bratton and Tyrone Moss), eighth in total touchdowns and 11th in rushing yards.

How to replace a player of Walton’s caliber? With other highly ranked recruits.

The Hurricanes have a commitment from Lorenzo Lingard, a five-star prospect and the No. 2 running back in the 2018 class according to 247Sports and Rivals. He and four-star prospect Camron Davis would join backfield that includes junior-to-be Travis Homer, redshirt freshman Robert Burns and redshirt senior Trayone Gray. UM also as a fullback commitment for 2018 (three-star Realus George).

Reader Comments 0

0 comments