Michigan State has officially lost one important piece of its offensive puzzle, and has all but officially lost another.
In a tweet posted to his Twitter account this afternoon, running back Le’Veon Bell announced that he was leaving the Spartans early for the NFL draft. While MSU has not yet confirmed Bell’s status for 2013, a school official acknowledged to CFT that Bell has informed head coach Mark Dantonio of his decision.
“As hard as it was to leave [S]partan nation, it was even harder to pass on such a great opportunity I have in front of me!” Bell wrote on Twitter. “But I love and thank [S]partan nation for everything! I will always be a Spartan!”
Bell is currently third in the nation in rushing yards per game at 137.9, while his 12 rushing touchdowns were tied for fourth in the Big Ten. He was named first-team All-Big Ten after rushing for 1,793 yards, second in school history to Lorenzo White’s 2,066 in 1985.
In addition to Bell, ESPN.com‘s Joe Schad among others are reporting that tight end Dion Sims is set to make the same early leap as his teammate. Sims finished the 2012 season third on the Spartans in receptions (36) and receiving yards (475).
When Sims’ decision becomes official, he’ll become the first player at his position to declare thus far.
UPDATED 12:58 p.m. ET: A short time ago, Sims also tweeted that he has played his final season in East Lansing.
“I want to thank
#SpartanNation for 4 of the best years of my life! I’ll always bleed green & white!!!”