USC running back Keaontay Ingram announces decision on NFL draft

Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire

USC running back Keaontay Ingram will declare for the NFL draft, he announced Thursday via Twitter. Ingram spent one season with the Trojans after playing for three years with the Texas Longhorns.

“Playing in the Coliseum was a special moment for me and is something I will be able to tell my kids about one day and cherish forever,” he wrote. “The moment I arrive (USC) gave me opportunities to meet people I am truly grateful for. …I have built relationships that will go longer than football.

“With that being said, I am announcing that I am declaring for the 2022 NFL draft.”

Ingram led the Trojans in rushing with 911 yards and five touchdowns this past season. USC finished 4-8, missing out on a bowl game.

The running back won back-to-back state championships with Carthage (TX) High School in 2016 and 2017. A four-star recruit, he opted to stay in state and commit to the Texas Longhorns over offers from Georgia, Ohio State, Oklahoma and others. He was the No. 19 overall player in the state of Texas for 2018 according to On3 Consensus, a complete and equally weighted industry-generated average that utilizes all four major recruiting media companies.

In three years with the Longhorns, Ingram compiled 1,811 yards and 11 touchdowns. His 911 yards this season with USC were a career-best.

Ingram’s one year with the Trojans was a rollercoaster. USC fired coach Clay Helton just two games into the season following a loss to Stanford. The team hired Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma this offseason as Helton’s replacement.

With Keaontay Ingram now preparing for the NFL draft, USC will look to find his replacement. Trojans senior Vavae Malepeai is also likely on his way out, leaving Darwin Barlow as the team’s leading returning rusher. The sophomore had 62 carries for 289 yards and two touchdowns this past season.

The first game of the Lincoln Riley era at USC is set for Sept. 3 against Rice.