Following Michigan State’s victory over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl last Saturday, much of the attention of Spartan football fans then turned to whether or not their star running back, Le’Veon Bell would be leaving for the NFL.
And now after several reports all week of the hiring of an agent, thus ensuring his departure, it became official Thursday, as several other reports pointed to his leaving for the NFL.
To make things official, Bell took to Twitter saying, “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. But I love and thank spartan nation for everything! I will always be a Spartan!”
It shouldn’t come as so much of a surprise though. Bell simply had no choice. Running backs have the shortest careers of any other position in football and he made the right choice by leaving for the NFL. He just simply could not return to another 400 touch season, risking injury and potentially the loss of millions of dollars.
In addition to Bell, a couple of other notable Spartans are also expected to be on their way to the NFL. These being tight end Dion Sims and defensive end William Gholston. Sims, a 6’5″ 285 lb. tight end, is considered to be one of the top players at his position in this years’ class while Gholston, not quite, the talent is there but he may want to stick around another year to improve his draft stock.
Nevertheless with the departure of all these players, Michigan State is now faced with the task of replacing them. All three were very important parts to the Michigan State football team this past season. Obviously, the hardest one to replace will be Bell. Bell wasn’t just a important piece of the Michigan State offense. He WAS the offense. Bell put the team on his back all season long en route to a monstrous 1793 yard, 12 touchdown season. Replacing him will be no walk in the park.
And the potential replacement for him is completely up in the air. The leading returning rusher for the Spartans next year will be sophomore Nick Hill, who had just 48 yards on 21 carries this past year. Other candidates include sophomore Jeremy Langford, or even 4 star ATH recruit Delton Williams of Cathedral Prep School in Erie, Pennsylvania.
At the end of the day though, regardless of who will be asked to step up and fill the shoes of these three players, it will certainly be a tough task to do
Follow Ryan Squanda on Twitter @squandarunner