Temple RB Bernard Pierce Will Enter 2012 NFL Draft

COLLEGE PARK, MD - SEPTEMBER 24: Running back back Bernard Pierce #30 of the Temple Owls reacts to a play from the bench during the closing moments of the Owls 38-7 win over the Maryland Terrapins at Byrd Stadium on September 24, 2011 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Temple's leading rusher, Bernard Pierce, has announced that he will forgo his senior year to enter the 2012 NFL Draft this April.

Temple's leading rusher, Bernard Pierce, has announced that he will forgo his senior year to enter the 2012 NFL Draft this April. The junior from Ardmore rushed for an astounding 1,481 yards and 27 TDs last season leading Temple to its first bowl win in 32 years.

"I've done what I could do for the team. I broke every record at the school and I would go back to basically have a better season," Pierce said. "I'm ready to start a new area in my life, and I have to take care of myself and my family."

Pierce leaves Temple after a prolific three year career in which he racked up 3,570 yards rushing and and accounted for 54 TDs (a school record). So it's hard to disagree with the idea that he's done everything he set out do in school. And for a running back, another season is just one more year of punishment that will undoubtedly take it's toll down the line.

He says he'll head to Atlanta to train, but plans to return to Temple to finish his degree.

"I want to make my mother proud. That was a big part of this decision to leave now," he said. "I want to give her back what she gave me, first and foremost. I'm going to train now in Atlanta, and then come back in the summer to finish school. But this has always been a dream of mine to do this, and I'm glad of the opportunity I got at Temple. I'm ready to begin a new chapter of my life."

Mocking The Draft currently has Pierce rated as the #3 running back amongst the 2012 class.

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