Arizona Wildcats running back Gary Brightwell announced on Sunday that he is entering the 2021 NFL Draft.
A senior, Brightwell could have taken advantage of the year of free eligibility that student-athletes received in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but called a chance to play in the NFL his “childhood dream.”
The tall but quick Brightwell led the Wildcats in scrimmage yards in the condensed 2020 season, rushing for 386 yards and a touchdown on 4.5 yards per carry while catching 13 passes for 53 yards.
Brightwell has been outspoken about his NFL aspirations in the past, saying in 2019 he doesn’t have a back-up plan if his dream doesn’t come true.
“If I had a backup plan, there is no reason to have played football,” he said. “If I hadn’t wanted to do it professionally, I probably wouldn’t have come to college. “
DraftScout.com Projects Brightwell will be either a seventh round pick or a high priority undrafted free agent. If selected, Brightwell would become Arizona’s first offensive player to be drafted since Ka’Deem Carey in 2014.