2014 NFL Draft: Missouri RB Henry Josey making NFL leap

Henry Josey is only the second player in school history to record two 1,000-yard rushing seasons.  (USATSI)
Henry Josey is only the second player in school history to record two 1,000-yard rushing season. (USATSI)

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Missouri running back Henry Josey has decided not to risk suffering another major injury, and announced he will forgo his senior season to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

It's a big gamble by Josey, the No. 19-rated junior running back by NFLDraftScout.com who may have been able to improve his draft stock by returning to school in 2014. Josey (5-10, 190) rushed for 1,168 yards and nine touchdowns as a sophomore in 2011 before suffering a gruesome season-ending knee injury that nearly proved to be career-ending as he tore his left anterior cruciate ligament, medial collateral ligament and patellar tendon.

After sitting out the 2012 season, Josey returned to rush for 1,166 yards and 16 touchdowns in 2013, and closed out his career by earning offensive MVP honors in the Tigers' Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State. Highly productive when healthy, Josey will first need to satisfy any concerns about the strength of his knee during medical evaluations, but could quickly rise up draft boards with good workouts leading up to May's draft.

"This is really a bittersweet decision to make," Josey said in a statement released by Missouri’s athletic department Tuesday. "I’m so grateful to Mizzou and my coaches and teammates and fans for all of their support and everything they’ve meant to me these past four years. It’s difficult to think I won’t be with them next year.

"But I’m really excited to have a chance to play professionally and work on fulfilling a dream I’ve had since I was a little kid."

Josey joins defensive lineman Kony Ealy as Tigers who have announced they will leave school early for the 2014 draft.

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