According to The Associated Press (h/t Chicago Tribune), junior running back Edwin Baker has announced he will forego his senior season at Michigan State and enter the NFL draft. The Highland Park, MI, native had a fantastic sophomore year in 2010 rushing for 1,201 yards, and 13 touchdowns while earning All-Big Ten conference honors.
In 2011 Baker shared carries with sophomore Le'Veon Bell after having some ball security issues. Bell made the most of his carries and resumed the role of starter over Baker. In 2011, Baker rushed for 665 yards and five touchdowns. Baker has the skills to take his talent to the next level; he has top-end speed and the ability to run over defenders.
Baker's decision may have been influenced by the fact that he didn't want to risk injury during his senior season at Michigan State. Baker told head coach Mark Dantonio of his plans on Friday, one day after teammate DT Jerel Worthy announced his decision to also forego his senior season and enter the draft.
Baker came to Michigan State as a 4-star recruit, and competed with fellow 4-star recruit Larry Caper for carries during his freshman and sophomore year. With Baker leaving, it gives the majority of carries to Le'Veon Bell, with Caper continuing his duties as the third down back.
With Baker leaving it clears up a crowded backfield, Bell has shown the ability to be the feature back and will have full confidence from MSU. Baker is expected to be a fourth to sixth-round draft choice.