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2014 NFL Draft: Notre Dame RB Atkinson III turning pro

By Jeff Reynolds | NFLDraftScout.com

Notre Dame running back George Atkinson III decided to skip his final season of eligibility with the Fighting Irish to enter the 2014 NFL Draft.

Atkinson is a freakish athlete at 219 pounds. He ran a 100-meter time in 10.36 in the Big East Outdoor championship, the type of blazing speed that scouts and NFL evaluators covet and will make room for, even if he's not an ideal system fit.

Atkinson's father, George Atkinson Jr., played for the Oakland Raiders from 1968-1977. and had 30 career interceptions. Atkinson Jr. told Blue Gold Illustrated the decision was based on opportunity.

"If you have an opportunity why not try to seize it? It was nothing other than a conscious decision based on opportunity. He feels he's ready for it."

Atkinson III was suspended for his final college game at Notre Dame, the Pinstripe Bowl, for what the school described as a violation of team rules.

Atkinson III explained on Twitter why he believed he was suspended.

"For those of you who are wondering I was suspended from today's game for texting friends and family during team meal, as I did all season," he wrote.

He was second on the team with 555 rushing yards and has three rushing touchdowns this season. He caught seven passes for 55 yards.

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