PROVO, Utah -- BYU running back Lucas Staley announced today he will not return to BYU for his final season. Staley, winner of the 2001 Doak Walker and Touchdown Club of Columbus Running Back of the Year awards confirmed he will enter the 2002 NFL Draft.
"I have decided to announce now that I am forgoing my senior season and enter this year's NFL Draft," Staley said. "I feel it is time for me to take my skills to the next level and achieve some additional goals I have established for myself.
"Coach Crowton has been very supportive of my decision and after lengthy discussions with my family, fiance and other coaches, I have decided that this decision is in my best interest."
Staley, BYU's first Consensus All-American since Ty Detmer in 1990-91, will not play against Louisville in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 after breaking his leg earlier this month. Staley underwent surgery on Tuesday, Dec. 18 to repair damaged ligaments in his ankle as a result of the broken bone in his leg. Staley sustained a broken fibula against Mississippi State on Dec. 1 in the Cougars' 41-38 come-from-behind victory. Staley was injured on the final drive of the game after racking up 30 of his game-high 149 yards.
"There is nothing I would like to do more in this world than to play in the Liberty Bowl with my brother, Dustin, who will be playing in his final game at BYU, as well as the rest of my teammates. We have had a great season and it would mean everything to me," Staley said. "However, because of my recent injury, I will not be able to play and need to focus on my immediate future. Hopefully by announcing my intentions now, there will be no distractions at the bowl game and my teammates can focus on beating Louisville in the Liberty Bowl."
Staley, a junior from Tualatin, Ore., led the nation in scoring (15.5 p/game), yards per carry (8.1 y/carry) and ranked third in the nation in rushing, averaging 143.8 yards per game. He helped pace the Cougars to a perfect 12 0 record on the season before going down with a season-ending injury. Staley scored a BYU single-season record 28 touchdowns. He racked up a BYU single-season record 1,582 yards rushing on the season. Against Tulane, in the Cougars' season-opener, Staley averaged a BYU single-game record 14.2 yards per carry. He has racked up nine 100-yard rushing games on the season, including a career-high 207 yards on 23 carries against in-state rival Utah State. The 6-foot-2, 225 pound speedster has produced at least one touchdown in 22-of-30 games throughout his career, and has tallied 14 multiple-scoring games, including eight multiple-scoring games this season. Staley tied a BYU record with five touchdowns against Utah State and Colorado State during the season.
6-2 Â• 225 Â• Jr.
PERSONAL: Born 9/16/80...parents are Dan and Dawn...older brother Dustin is also on the BYU football team as a defensive back...is engaged to be married on Jan. 30, 2002 ... recruited by Washington, Washington State, Colorado, Nebraska, Cal, Utah, Oregon, Oregon State, Arizona State and UCLA.
HIGH SCHOOL: Named Oregon's Gatorade Player of the Year...selected by USA Today as the Oregon Player of the Year...selected as a Blue Chip Top-100 player...named Oregonian Player of the Year...earned All-State offensive and defensive honors...selected as the conference offensive, defensive and special teams Player of the Year...averaged over 300 yards per game during Tualatin's four-game playoff run his senior season.
AT BYU: 1999: Earned Sporting News third team Freshman All-America honors...named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year... earned Academic All-Mountain West Conference honors as a freshman...ranked second on the BYU roster with 432 rushing yards on 92 carries...averaged 4.7 yards per carry...produced 10 of the Cougars' 13 rushing touchdowns on the season, including a season-long 61 yard touchdown run at New Mexico to start the second half...produced at least one rushing touchdown in all but one game he played during the season... with his touchdown reception at San Diego State, recorded at least one touchdown in every regular-season game he played...led the Mountain West Conference in scoring, averaging 9.8 points per game...scoring average ranked seventh in the nation and was tops of all freshmen in the country...recorded two or more touchdowns in four of the eight regular-season games he played...scored at least two TDs in three straight games to start the 1999 season, including a three-touchdown performance against Colorado State to score 18 of the Cougars' 34 points...produced a season-high 79 yards rushing against Virginia, scoring two rushing touchdowns...produced 771 all purpose yards during the season, including a season-high 147 yards at New Mexico (69 yds. rushing, 78 yds. receiving)...averaged 96.4 all purpose yards per game as a freshman...underwent knee and shoulder surgery following the 1999 campaign.
2000: Named All-Mountain West Conference second-team ... earned MWC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors (vs. UNLV; Sept. 23) ... earned coaches' award for performances against Air Force, UNLV and Colorado State ... started in 10-of-12 games this season ... suffered a concussion against Florida State and underwent mid-season knee surgery, only to record 167 yards rushing on 28 carries against UNLV in his first game back .... recorded 75 yards rushing and three rushing TDs against Utah State ... led the Cougars with 88 yards on 23 carries against Wyoming ... recorded two more TDs against New Mexico, marking his sixth career multi-scoring game ... has scored 17 rushing touchdowns and three receptions for touchdowns throughout his career, including seven rushing TDs in 2000 ... carried the ball 130 times for a team-leading 479 yards, averaging 3.7 yards per carry ... produced at least one touchdown in 12 of the 19 games he has played at BYU, including two three TD performances ... has scored 120 points in two seasons, including 42 points as a sophomore ... ranked seventh in the MWC with a 4.7 point-per-game average.
2001: The Doak Walker Award winner ... Consensus All-American ... led the Nation in scoring, averaging 15.45 points per game ... led the Nation in yards per carry, averaging 8.1 yards per touch ... ranked third in the Nation in yards per game, averaging 143.8 yards per contest ... recorded more yards rushing by any back in the Nation with less than 170 carries ... only one of seven BYU running backs in Cougar Football history to run for over 1,000 yards in a single season ... scored more touchdowns than any other player in the Nation ... set the BYU single-game yards-per carry record, averaging 14.2 yards per carry against Tulane ... broke the 29-year-old BYU single-season rushing record, recording 1,433 yards in just 10 games ... set the single-season touchdown scoring record with 28 TDs on the season ... tied a BYU single-season record with 30 points against Utah State and Colorado State ... set the BYU career touchdown scoring record during the season, having recorded 48 touchdowns in just three seasons ... has produced eight multi-touchdown performances on the season, including five games with three or more touchdowns ... twice scored a career-high five touchdowns on the season, including games against Utah State and Colorado State ... chalked up 100-or-more yards rushing in eight different games this season, including five games with 150-or-more yards ... put together six straight games with over 100 yards rushing, including four straight games with 150-or-more ... set a MWC record with his fourth Offensive Player-of-the-Week honor after knocking off Utah ... was named the MWC Offensive Player of the Week after a a career-high 207 yard rushing performance against Utah State (Oct. 8), scoring four rushing and one touchdown reception ... earned player-of-the-week honors on Nov. 5 after scoring five touchdowns against a stingy Colorado State defense, recording 196 yards on 22 carries ... also named player of the week after racking up another 172 yards on 31 carries, scoring four touchdowns against Wyoming ... earned MWC Offensive Player-of-the-Week and CNN.SI National Player-of-the-Week recognition after scoring two touchdowns, including the game-winner in the final 3:22 of the Cougars' come-from-behind win over Utah ... averaging 11.1 yards per reception ... scored four touchdown receptions on the season and 24 rushing TDs ... owns the BYU and MWC single-season and career scoring records (including kickers) with 170/290 points ... needs just 722 yards to become BYU's all-time leading career rusher.
STALEY QUICK FACTS
Â• Led the nation in scoring, averaging 15.5 points per game
Â• Led the nation in rushing yards per carry, averaging 8.1 yards per touch
Â• Ranked third nationally in yards per game, averaging 143.8 yards per contest
Â• Tallied 14 multiple-scoring games over his career
Â• Produced at least one touchdown in 22-of-30 career games.
Â• Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 207 yards and five TDs against USU.
Â• Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 196 yards and five TDs against CSU.
Â• Named MWC Player of the Week after posting 172 yards and four TDs against Wyoming.
Â• Named Sporting News Nissan Frontier National Player of the Week (Nov. 11)
Â• Named Consensus First Team All-American
Â• 2,507 career rushing yards
Â• 1,582 yards rushing this season -- a career high.
Â• Has produced 290 career points
Â• Twice tied BYU single-game record with 30 points (vs. Utah State; vs. Colorado State)
Â• Twice tied BYU school record with five touchdowns (vs. Utah State; vs. Colorado State)
Â• Set BYU single-season touchdown record with 28 TDs (2001)
Â• Set BYU single-game record with 14.2 yards per carry (vs. Tulane; 10-for-142)
Â• Set BYU single-season scoring record with 170 points scored
Â• On pace to set single-season yards per carry record, averaging 8.1 y/c
Â• Set BYU career touchdown scoring record (48).
Â• Set BYU's single-season rushing record with 1,582 yards
Â• Needed just 477 yards to become all-time leading career rusher
Â• Beacame BYU's first 1,000-yd rusher since 1998 (Jenkins; 1,307)
Â• Needed 43 points to become BYU's all-time leading scorer
Â• Became BYU's all-time (non-kicker) leading scorer (288)