LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the FBS leader with 5,052 yards passing this season, is bypassing his senior season for early entry in the NFL draft.
Mahomes announced his decision during a campus news conference Tuesday, saying he felt the time was right for him to pursue his dream of playing in the NFL. He said draft evaluators gave him a second-round grade.
''It was a tussle, I went back and forth a little bit,'' Mahomes said. ''As December went on and I started to lean more and more toward the draft, it's kind of seemed like the right decision, and I believe it was.''
Despite a strained right shoulder and a left wrist injury, Mahomes played every game this season for the Red Raiders (5-7). He completed 388 of 591 passes with 41 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.
Mahomes became only the third FBS player with multiple seasons of more than 5,000 total yards. He is third on Texas Tech's career passing lists with 11,252 yards and 93 touchdowns, behind Graham Harrell and current Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury. He also ran for 22 TDs over the past two seasons.
The 6-foot-3, 230-pound Mahomes, the son of a former major league pitcher, had surgery last month on the wrist of his non-throwing hand, which he injured when he fell on it awkwardly early in a 66-59 loss to Oklahoma on Oct. 22.
In that game against the Big 12 champion Sooners, Mahomes tied an NCAA record with 734 yards passing while completing 52 of 88 with five touchdowns. His 819 total yards were an NCAA record.
Mahomes is scheduled to get the cast removed Wednesday, and then will head to San Diego to begin full-time physical and mental training for the NFL combine and the draft.
''I'll be able to start rehabbing a little bit more and get going, I've already been working out and doing stuff to keep myself in shape,'' Mahomes said. ''It will be a tough road, but I plan on pushing through it and training and getting the best I can be before the draft.''
After the cast is removed, he will have a splint that he will be able to take on and off. He hopes to be ''pretty much 100 percent'' for the NFL scouting combine that starts Feb. 28 in Indianapolis.
In his final game with the Red Raiders, Mahomes threw for 586 yards and matched his career high with six TD passes in a 54-35 win over Baylor in the home stadium of the NFL's Dallas Cowboys the day after Thanksgiving. He also threw six TDs in AT&T Stadium against the Bears two years earlier.
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