- Associated Press - Thursday, January 5, 2017

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) - Joe Mixon, the star Oklahoma running back who was suspended for the 2014 season after punching a woman in the face, will enter the NFL draft.

Mixon made the announcement in a statement on his Twitter account Thursday. He thanked Oklahoma’s coaches, administrators, support staff and fans.

“I promise not to waste the second chance that was given to me,” Mixon said in the statement. “I owe that to my coaches who believed in me, my teammates who stood by me, and the University that gave me an education that I always will be thankful for.”

Mixon’s lawyers released video last month of him breaking Oklahoma student Amelia Molitor’s jaw and cheekbone in July 2014, and heavy criticism of Mixon and Sooners coach Bob Stoops followed.

Mixon gave a tearful public apology a week later. In his statement Thursday, he said he wants to teach others to do better.

“I also pledge to use my own experience as a platform to teach other young men never - and I repeat, never - to make the mistakes that I made,” he said.

Mixon set Oklahoma’s school’s single-season record for all-purpose yards this season with 2,331. He closed out his college career with 180 yards from scrimmage and two rushing touchdowns in a 35-19 Sugar Bowl win over Auburn .

Now, he wants to take the next step. He is an early-round talent who might drop in the draft because of his off-the-field problems.

The Sooners also will need to replace Samaje Perine, the school’s career rushing leader who also declared for the draft this week.

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