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Iowa State running back Breece Hall will forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2022 NFL Draft. Hall finished as the team's leading rusher this season, rushing for 1,472 yards, and his 20 rushing touchdowns this season are tied with four other players for most in the country.

"Playing for Iowa State has been nothing short of a gift," said Hall on his Instagram page. "The last three years, this team has defined five-star culture, and I could not be more grateful to be a part of that. I want to thank God for blessing me with the ability to play the game that I love so much and for putting me in this position.

"After much praying and discussion with my loved ones, I have decided to forgo my remaining eligibility and enter the 2022 NFL Draft. While this decision has not been easy, playing in the NFL has been a lifelong dream of mine. I know that Cyclone Nation will support me and this decision. I am excited and grateful for this next step in my life."

Hall did not clarify whether he plans to play in the Cheez-It Bowl against Clemson, but the odds are against it.

The right time

While there are no absolutes in life, generally speaking, running backs with NFL aspirations should make the leap from college to the next level as quickly as possible. That might change in the coming years with new NIL rules, but no position in football reaches its prime quicker than running backs. There are only so many miles in a back's legs, so it's best to optimize the earning potential while you can.

Plus, it's not as if Hall has much left to prove at the college level. In his three seasons at Iowa State, Hall has rushed for 3,941 yards and 50 touchdowns while catching 82 passes for an additional 734 yards and six touchdowns. He's already the school's career leader in rushing yards and touchdowns, surpassing Troy Davis earlier this season.

Hall was a four-star talent out of Wichita, Kansas, and came to Iowa State as the second-highest ranked member of the team's 2019 recruiting class behind fellow running back Jirehl Brock. Hall would make an immediate impact, rushing for 897 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman and cementing himself as the team's featured back.

No. 2-ranked RB in the class

While it's impossible to know when Hall will go in the draft, he's currently listed as the No. 2 running back in CBS Sports' prospect rankings and No. 58 overall. NFL teams have shown a lack of desire to take running backs in early rounds the last few years, so it's hard to imagine Hall will be taken in the first or even second round. He's likely to be one of the first backs off the board, however.

Hall has proven to be a complete running back who can not only carry the ball and catch passes out of the backfield but one who is also reliable as a pass-blocker. That ability has proven to be a quick avenue toward playing time at the next level. He's not all that dissimilar to former Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell, who went on to have a tremendous career for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Where does Iowa State go from here?

As mentioned earlier, Jirehl Brock was another four-star recruit in Iowa State's 2019 class, and he's still on the roster. Of course, while Brock was third on the team in carries this year, he only had 23 because Hall was the team's workhorse. Freshman backs Eli Sanders and Deon Silas also saw some snaps in 2021, and the Cyclones have two three-star backs in their 2022 recruiting class (Quaron Adams, Cartevious Norton).

With Hall taking so many of the snaps the last couple of seasons, it's hard to know which player will take the reins in 2022, or if Matt Campbell might decide to hit the transfer portal, but there won't be a shortage of options available.