Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE
Another day, another not surprising report that an MSU junior is leaving, this time according to MLive.
Michigan State junior running back Le'Veon Bell has decided to enter the NFL draft, and he informed coach Mark Dantonio of the decision Wednesday night, according to his mentor, Donis Toler Jr.
Bell has since confirmed the report.
As hard as it was to leave spartan nation, it was even harder to pass on such a great opportunity I have in front of me!— LeVeon Bell (@L_Bell24) January 3, 2013
But I love and thank spartan nation for everything! I will always be a Spartan!— LeVeon Bell (@L_Bell24) January 3, 2013
With running backs having the shortest career spans of NFL positions, and Bell taking such a pounding, this was certainly the right move. Bell is considered by most to be a top five running back in this class, which is weak with the gruesome injury to Marcus Lattimore. Bell couldn't improve his stock much by returning, which is why this quote from Toler surprised me from the MLive story.
"Upset's not a good word to use, but he (Dantonio) was taken aback a little bit. He thought he had a good chance of Le'Veon coming back."
For the reasons listed above, it really didn't make any sense for Bell to return.
Still, this leaves Dantonio's offense without many proven playmakers. An offense that was near the bottom of the country in yards and scoring is now down its top two players. As for the running back position next year, Nick Hill, Nick Tompkins, Jeremy Langford, Gerald Holmes and R.J. Shelton will all probably have a shot. It's going to be like 2009 with this position being wide open.
Good luck to Le'Veon. From his first run as a Spartan, I think we all knew he had a chance to be special. He would have had a chance to break Lorenzo White's rushing record if he came back. Not bad for a two-star recruit who only had a few MAC offers.
Bell becomes another under-recruited Spartan who will reach the NFL. Six Spartans were drafted last year, and five of them had three stars or fewer out of high school. MSU may not be an elite recruiting school, but it's getting plenty of players to the NFL.
The final MSU junior who needs to announce a decision is William Gholston, whom most feel will also turn pro.