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Pitt in the Pros

Former Pitt Running Back, Jets Fifth-Round Pick Izzy Abanikanda Signs Rookie Contract



Former Pitt running back Izzy Abanikanda has signed his rookie contract with the New York Jets. Abanikanda was selected in the fifth round (143rd overall) of the 2023 NFL Draft after an impressive junior season. 

The Brooklyn, New York, native rushed for 1,431 yards and 20 touchdowns in 11 games and returns home to play for the Jets. Izzy broke the Pitt single-game rushing record, held by Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett in 1975, against Virginia Tech at home. He exploded for 320 yards and six touchdowns on 36 carries, averaging 8.9 yards per rush. With six touchdowns, Abanikanda tied a 112-year school record for most in a contest, dating back to 1910. The performance also tied for the most rushing touchdowns in an ACC game.

Deals for draft picks out of the first round come with four years of potential team control. Abanikanda finished his historic season with 21 touchdowns, 20 rushing TDs, and scored an average of 11.6 points per game, all the best in college football. The 5-foot-11 back ended his time at Pitt rushing for 2,177 yards and 28 touchdowns. 

He joins a deep backfield in New York, including Breece Hall and Michael Carter as weapons for four-time MVP Aaron Rodgers after being traded from Green Bay.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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