Boise State Football

Boise State’s star running back enters NFL Draft, extends recent trend

Alexander Mattison highlights from 2018 Boise State Football season

Watch some of Boise State RB Alexander Mattison's top plays from the 2018 season.
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Watch some of Boise State RB Alexander Mattison's top plays from the 2018 season.

Boise State junior tailback Alexander Mattison will enter the 2019 NFL Draft, he announced Friday afternoon.

Mattison follows the path of previous workhorse running backs Jay Ajayi and Jeremy McNichols, who also gave up their senior seasons to turn pro.

Mattison currently ranks second in the nation in carries (302), seventh in rushing yards (1,415) and tied for fifth in rushing touchdowns (17) despite the cancellation of the First Responder Bowl on Wednesday. He finished his career with back-to-back 200-yard games against ranked opponents Fresno State and Utah State.

Mattison posted on Twitter that he made his decision after consulting with his family this week.

“I can’t tell you how much the last three years at Boise State have meant to me,” he wrote. “... Thank you to everyone who has gotten me to this point. I hope to make you all proud.”

Mattison’s decision marks the sixth straight year that a Boise State player has left early for the NFL Draft, three of them running backs. Boise State is one of 10 programs that has had an early entrant selected in each of the past five drafts.

His departure opens another big hole in Boise State’s 2019 offense, which also loses four-year starting quarterback Brett Rypien and top two wide receivers Sean Modster and A.J. Richardson.

Mattison rushed for 1,086 yards and 12 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2017 and 328 yards and four touchdowns in 2016.

Boise State’s early entrants in NFL Draft

Alexander Mattison is the ninth Boise State player since 2008 to leave early for the NFL. Here’s where his predecessors were drafted:

2008: OT Ryan Clady, first round

2008: CB Orlando Scandrick, fifth round

2009: WR Jeremy Childs, undrafted

2014: DE DeMarcus Lawrence, second round

2015: RB Jay Ajayi, fifth round

2016: DE/LB Kamalei Correa, second round

2017: RB Jeremy McNichols, fifth round

2018: LB Leighton Vander Esch, first round

2019: RB Alexander Mattison