Based on LJ Scott‘s previous proclamations, this move would count as a surprise.
In the middle of last month, Mark Dantonio stated that Scott, after consulting with his family, had decided to take advantage of the new NCAA redshirt rule and shut it down this season, thus preserving a year of eligibility he would use in 2019. The running back has been dealing with a nagging ankle injury that had sidelined the fourth-year senior for all but four games of the 2018 regular season.
While the stated expectation was to return to the Spartans next year, Scott instead reversed course with an announcement on Twitter Wednesday night.
“As the season has drawn closer to an end, I’ve had time to properly reflect and discuss all of my options with my coaches and family to decide the absolute best course of action for me going forward,” Scott wrote. “After a ton of thought, prayer, and careful consideration, I’ve decided to enter the 2019 NFL Draft as a senior.”
Scott went on to cite the position he plays as a significant impetus for his decision.
In somewhat of a surprising move, especially considering his injuries in 2018 as well as the current trend in the sport, Scott confirmed in the same social-media missive that he will play in Michigan State’s bowl game this month.
Scott had led Michigan State in rushing each of the past three seasons — 898 yards in 2017, 994 in 2016 and 699 in 2015. This season, the ankle issue limited him to 180 yards on 55 carries.
The previous three years, Scott had accounted for 27 touchdowns — 25 rushing, two receiving.