Over the weekend, official announcements came down from three Michigan State Juniors, announcing that each would be forgoing their fourth-year eligibility and entering into the 2013 draft.
I don’t think anyone is surprised that Le’Veon Bell is entering the NFL Draft. After the attention he received for his ability to carry his opponents with the ball down the field for record yardage, he’s sure to do well on the NFL’s draft ticket for 2013. Bell ranks 11th as a running back on NFLDraftScout.com. Bell led the Big Ten for running yards (1,793 yards) and for carries (382) in the 2012 Spartans season. Bell announced his decision on Twitter, writing “As hard as it was to leave Spartan Nation, it was even harder to pass up on such a great opportunity I have in front of me! But I love and thank Spartan Nation for everything! I will always be a Spartan!”
While coach Mark Dantoio was somewhat disappointed and taken aback by the announcement (who can blame him, he’s losing the guy that brought the Spartans to the post-season this year), he also acknowledged that he understood the tough decision Bell had to make.
Dion Sims is another NFL Draft prospect who doesn’t need to be explained too much. He is ranked as the number 4 tight end by NFLDraftScout.com. This 6’5″, 285 pound player can best be described as the guy who gets things done on the field – and he is quite nimble, making him the guy you want to run long for the pass. Even though Sims finished the 2012 season with only 36 catches for 475 yards, he is a very attractive prospect (many blame Andrew Maxwell, quarterback for his inability to have higher stats). Sims wrote of his decision “I want to thank #SpartanNation for 4 of the best years of my life! I’ll always bleed green and white!”
Announced through a letter on Sunday, William Gholston also announced that he would be joining the 2013 NFL Draft and forego his senior year at Michigan State. Gholston was a beast when it came to defense for the Spartans. He was the first five-star recruit to commit himself to the Spartans. He was second team All-American, and he forced one fumble, defended ten passes, and recorded 4.5 sacks and 59 tackles in this past year. The birth of his son may have helped fuel Gholston’s decision to go pro early.
Let’s wish all three of these Spartan superstar players luck as they enter the draft. May each find the team they fit with best, and may each continue to make and break records in football. I’m excited to see where each player goes in the future, and I’m even more excited to see how they perform.