Rutgers is losing its leading rusher from each of the last three seasons.
Isaih Pacheco announced via Twitter on Tuesday that he will be declaring for the 2022 NFL Draft. Pacheco has one year of eligibility left but will forego the 2022 season to enter his name into the draft. Unlike basketball, a player is unable to return once he decides to make the jump to the next level in football.
“I am beyond grateful for my experiences at Rutgers University. To be able to stay home and represent my home state was truly a dream come true,” Pacheco wrote.
“Last and certainly not least, I want to thank Rutgers Nation. Your support has meant the world to me and my family.”
Thank you Rutgers Nation pic.twitter.com/LFQfrT6pHy— Isiah Pacheco (@isiah_pachecoRB) November 30, 2021
Pacheco hails from Vineland, NJ and was a standout during his time at Vineland South High School. He held many offers but decided on the Scarlet Knights over the likes of Syracuse, UConn, and Pitt. His commitment to Rutgers back in 2017 gave them an option in the backfield for years to come.
In his four years with the Scarlet Knights, Pacheco led the team in rushing three times. This includes a career-high 729 yards and seven touchdowns on 169 carries in 2019. In his career, Pacheco totaled 2,436 yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry.
Pacheco was honored on Senior Day prior to the season finale against Maryland on Saturday. In his final season, Pacheco totaled 641 yards and five touchdowns. The 2021 season will be highlighted by his performance against Michigan in Ann Arbor where Pacheco carried the ball 20 times for 107 yards. This was the seventh and final 100-yard game of his career.
The inconsistent offensive line play of the Scarlet Knights might have hindered Pacheco’s ability to find running room in recent years but he was able to show off a tough style of play. At 5-foot-11, 215 pounds, Pacheco was not easy to bring down and ran with a purpose.
Pacheco becomes the first Scarlet Knights to declare for the NFL Draft — just two days after the 40-16 loss to the Terrapins. It will be interesting to see if any follow suit in the upcoming weeks.