Because it all doesn’t exactly fit in a news story, here’s all the statements sent out from Michigan State on Thursday concerning players leaving early for the NFL.
They just cover Le’Veon Bell and Dion Sims, not William Gholston. Apparently Gholston’s move is not official, though I would be shocked if he doesn’t officially follow Bell and Sims in the next few days.
Anyway, here’s what the others were saying:
Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio on Le’Veon Bell:
“Le’Veon Bell established himself as a running back who could carry the load, as he carried the ball over 380 times this season for us. Although he was the Big Ten’s leading rusher following the regular season, it was his physical durability that was most impressive.
“As a 20-year-old, Le’Veon faced an extremely difficult decision. While I do believe there was both personal and program value in Le’Veon returning for his senior season, I acknowledge the difficult choice he had to make.”
“This was the hardest decision of my life. It’s difficult to leave my teammates and coaches as well as Spartan Nation, but I couldn’t pass on pursuing my dream and the opportunity to change my mom’s life.
“I couldn’t have written a better script for my final game in a Spartan uniform, coming back from a 13-0 deficit against TCU to win in the final minute. I ran the ball well against a great TCU defense, but the most important thing was getting the ‘W.’ It was exciting to celebrate with my teammates one last time and leave on that note.
“Although I’m leaving, Michigan State still has some capable running backs returning, in Nick Hill and Jeremy Langford. Those guys will be running behind a talented and experienced offensive line. Nick and Jeremy are both tough, talented athletes and their time is now.”
Dantonio on Dion Sims:
“Despite missing nearly three full games, Dion Sims still earned second-team All-Big Ten honors, so that says something about his production. He’s a big target with great hands. With his combination of size and power, Dion is difficult to bring down, so he gains a lot of yards after the catch. He’s also a much improved run-blocker.
“Although we’ll miss Dion in our offense next season, he felt the timing was right and we wish him all the best in his future. Since returning to Michigan State, our offensive system has helped develop two tight ends that are currently playing in the NFL, in Kellen Davis (Chicago Bears) and Garrett Celek (San Francisco 49ers), so there’s a proven track record of our players having success at his position at the next level.”
“After talking things over with my family and some of my teammates, I decided the timing was right to make the move because I believe that I’m ready to play at the next level.
“I think I can impress the pro scouts with my end-line blocking and provide a big target over the middle. With my size and athleticism, I can create mismatches in the passing game against linebackers and safeties.
“Coach Dantonio has built a great football program at Michigan State. He is a great coach and an even better person. Coach D has a solid nucleus of players returning, plus he’ll bring in a talented recruiting class. He also has surrounded himself with great coaches and they’ll develop a plan to get the job done next season.”