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Utah RB Devontae Booker bypassing draft, returning to school


The conventional wisdom for running backs has been if there's a position that is best-served for early entry into the NFL draft, it's that one.

In that sense, Utah running back Devonate Booker is going against the trend and making a refreshing decision to return to school for his senior season instead of applying for the 2015 NFL Draft.

"Over the break I had the decision of a lifetime to make about whether to go to the NFL or stay in school. I talked to my family, friends and coaches on the decision and I've decided to stay at the University of Utah for my senior season," Booker said in a statement. "I will earn my degree in sociology this spring and further my education in a minor in something else that interests me. I am excited to see what this season has ahead for the team and me, and this should be another great year for our program."

The 5-foot-11, 210-pounder transferred to Salt Lake City from a junior college and had a breakout season for the Utes that led many to think he would be moving on after just one year. Instead, he will again be one of the focal points of the team's offense heading into 2015 after earning First Team All-Pac-12 honors.

Booker rushed for 1,512 yards and 10 touchdowns while also showing off his ability to catch balls out of the backfield with 43 receptions and two scores through the air.

Because of his blend of size, speed, and ability to flare out as an option in the passing game, Booker has drawn comparisons to Texans' star Arian Foster and former New York Giants tailback Tiki Barber, among others.

"He runs just like (Foster), same number, not a lot of expletive] when he scores," one scout said of the Utes runner. "He's good. It's weird how much he's like [Arian Foster. Just wait until they give him the rock more."

The deadline for all underclassmen to apply for the 2015 NFL Draft is Jan. 15.

You can follow Bryan Fischer on Twitter at @BryanDFischer.

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