NFL Draft 2012: Michigan State's Edwin Baker Elects To Go Pro

For more on the Michigan State Spartans, go to The Only Colors. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

Only a day after Michigan State defensive tackle Jarel Worthy made himself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft, his teammate, running back Edwin Baker, has opted to do the same:

Baker told The Associated Press he’s skipping his senior season to enter the NFL draft. "I just feel I’m ready," he said in a telephone interview. ...

"[Spartans coach Mark Dantonio] wants me back and said he’d love to have me back," Baker said. "But it’s my decision." ...

"I’m healthy now and I don’t want to get injured my senior year," he said. "And, I could come back and have a worse year."

Baker was statistically half the running back he was a year ago; in his sophomore season, he ran for 1,201 yards and 13 touchdowns while only running for 665 yards and five touchdowns this season. Yes, Baker lost some carries to sophomore Le'Veon Bell, but not enough to place the blame there (he only lost 37 carries) -- he averaged almost two full yards less per carry this season and 45 yards less per game.

It's possible Baker saw how strong Bell has looked in two seasons and foresaw his numbers decreasing even more in his senior season, which if it were to play out that way would make his decision a smart one. However, a little hard work and getting back to the five yards per carry back he was his first two seasons could've gone a long way for his draft value, which has to be at his personal low (although a strong combine can certainly change that, too).

For more on the Michigan State Spartans, go to The Only Colors. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

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