Auburn running back Peyton Barber turning pro

Auburn running back Peyton Barber (25) dives into the end zone for a touchdown in overtime of an NCAA college football game Jacksonville State, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015, in Auburn, Ala. Auburn won 27-20 in overtime. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

AUBURN, Ala. (WIAT) — In a surprise decision Auburn running back Peyton Barber has announced he will forgo his final two years of eligibility and enter the NFL Draft.

During his redshirt sophomore campaign in 2015 Barber led the Tigers in rushing with 1,017 yards and 13 touchdowns. He was the eighth Auburn running back to rush for more than 1,000 yards in the last seven years.

“This was a very tough decision for many reasons but after my family and I prayed about it,” Barber said in a statement. “I know I am ready for the next step and that this is the best decision for me. Auburn is a special place and having the opportunity to play football at Auburn has been a dream come true. I am close to graduating, so I will continue to work towards my degree even as I pursue my dream to play in the NFL.”

Barber split time at running back with Roc Thomas and Jovon Robinson throughout the year. Both are expected to return to the team in 2016 along with Kerryon Johnson.

Copyright 2016 WIAT CBS 42

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