Paul Perkins drafted by New York Giants

UCLA running back Paul Perkins (24) runs for yardage against Southern California during the first half of an NCAA college football game in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. (Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

UCLA running back Paul Perkins (24) runs for yardage against Southern California during the first half of an NCAA college football game in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015.
(Photo by Keith Birmingham/ Pasadena Star-News)

One pick after a former teammate realized his NFL dream, former UCLA running back Paul Perkins was drafted by the New York Giants with the 10th pick in the fifth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday.

In 2014, Perkins led the Pac-12 in rushing as a redshirt sophomore with 1,575 yards, becoming the first Bruin to win the conference rushing title since DeShaun Foster did so in 2001. Perkins is third on UCLA’s all-time rushing list with 3,491 yards and leads the school in receptions from the running back position (80).

Former UCLA offensive tackle Caleb Benenoch was drafted by Tampa Bay with the ninth pick in the fifth round.

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UCLA Pro Day: Linebacker Myles Jack is ‘capable of greatness’

Here’s a roundup from today’s UCLA Pro Day, starting with the two stories set to run in tomorrow’s LANG newspapers …

» Myles Jack wasn’t at 100 percent on Tuesday, but Jim Mora said the linebacker is “capable of greatness.”
» Mora said he could envision 11 Bruins being drafted, which would nearly double UCLA’s record in the seven-round draft era.

And video interviews from …

LB/RB/DB Myles Jack:

Defensive tackle Kenny Clark:

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PHOTOS: UCLA Pro Day showcases Bruins for NFL Draft

Myles Jack said he was operating at around “80 percent” during UCLA Pro Day on March 15. The UCLA linebacker had declared for the NFL draft shortly after tearing his meniscus in September. (Thomas Cordova/Staff)

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UCLA sends nine players to 2016 NFL Scouting Combine

Linebacker Myles Jack (30) is one of nine former UCLA players who will participate in the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine in late February. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Linebacker Myles Jack (30) is one of nine former UCLA players who will participate in the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine in late February. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

Nine former UCLA football players will participate in the NFL Scouting Combine later this month, by far the largest total of Jim Mora’s four-year tenure.

Linebacker Myles Jack, a likely first-round draft pick, leads a group that also includes: defensive tackle Kenny Clark; kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn; running back Paul Perkins; receivers Jordan Payton and Thomas Duarte; and offensive linemen Jake Brendel, Caleb Benenoch and Alex Redmond. Ohio State and Notre Dame are the only college teams with more players set to appear at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with 14 and 10, respectively.

Defending national champion Alabama will also send nine players to the Feb. 23-29 event.

UCLA had five participants in each of the last two NFL combines, and six in 2013. Only one Bruin, tight end Cory Harkey, was invited to the 2012 combine.

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UCLA running back Paul Perkins declares for NFL draft

UCLA running back Paul Perkins (24) will enter the 2016 NFL draft, forgoing his final year of eligibility. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA running back Paul Perkins (24) will enter the 2016 NFL draft, forgoing his final year of eligibility. (Keith Birmingham/Staff)

UCLA’s Paul Perkins has declared for the 2016 NFL draft, leaving the Bruins as one of the most productive running backs in school history.

Perkins announced his decision on Tuesday afternoon, one day after nose tackle Kenny Clark did the same. The former led the Pac-12 in rushing as a redshirt sophomore in 2014, and followed that performance with a 1,343-yard season on the ground. He finished as one of the top-five rushers in the conference despite being slowed by a knee injury midseason.

“Although I am excited about leaving,” Perkins wrote on Twitter, “my heart feels bittersweet to say goodbye. It has been an amazing journey. I have made many great friends and will take with me great memories.”

The 5-foot-11, 210-pound Arizona native ran for 3,491 yards in his career, the third-highest total in school history behind Gaston Green (3,731) and Johnathan Franklin (4,403).

To replace him, UCLA will likely use some combination of Nate Starks, who ran for 320 yard and five touchdowns in his second collegiate season, or soon-to-be sophomores Soso Jamabo and Bolu Olorunfunmi. The former was second on the team with 404 rushing yards, but racked up most of his numbers late in games.

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