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Southern Illinois running back declares for draft

Southern Illinois junior running back Jewel Hampton will forsake his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL Draft this year.

Hampton, who spent one season at Southern Illinois after transferring from the University of Iowa, is eligible for the draft as a fourth-year junior. He has signed with an agent and begun pre-draft training.

The 5-foot-8, 210-pounder missed all of the 2009 season and much of the 2010 season because of a torn ACL, but rebounded at SIU in 2011 to rush for 1,121 yards and 17 touchdowns and be named the Missouri Valley Football Conference Newcomer of the Year. The 22-year-old also caught 19 passes for 163 yards while earning second-team All-MVFC honors.