Indiana University issued a press release on Wednesday morning announcing that All-Big Ten defensive tackle Darius Latham will forgo his senior season and enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
— Indiana Football (@HoosierFootball) December 30, 2015
Latham recorded 33 tackles and four sacks in 11 games for the Hoosiers this season. He also had one interception, the lone pick of his career, when he dropped into coverage against Duke in the Pinstripe Bowl last weekend.
Latham's value to the Hoosier defense became clear when he was suspended for the Ohio State game and Ezekiel Elliott busted touchdown runs of 55, 65, and 75 yards in the Buckeyes 34-27 win.
Over the course of his career, Latham reigstered 81 tackles, 7.5 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss, 10 quarterback hurries, two fumble recoveries, one interception, seven pass breakups and two blocked kicks.
The North Central High School grad joins Jordan Howard in leaving the program early, while Nate Sudfeld and Jason Spriggs will also certainly find themselves in NFL next year as well. Add in the departures of Nick Mangieri and Anthony Corsaro, and the report that Dan Feeney may leave early as well, and the future of the program seems far less certain than it did just days ago.
The entire press release is available here.
Update: Latham has now confirmed the news via his own social media posts.
ITS OFFICIAL!!! I'm going to enter the draft instead of coming back for my last year of college. Been waiting all my life for this opportunity and I want to thank my family and coaches for the encouragement throughout the bumpy times in my career. Also thanks to #hoosiernation for all the support. All I can say is that I'm blessed. #outthegate