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How Much Will Michigan State Miss Le’Veon Bell?

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan State will have to play the 2013 season without their best player from the previous season. Running back Le’Veon Bell has decided to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft.

This was a solid decision by the back after a season in which he ran the ball an astounding 382 times. The junior racked up 1,700-plus yards last season and finished with 3,300 for his career at Michigan State.

He ended up being the main target of the offense and had the ball in his hands more often than not. However, the life of a running back is short-lived and with as many carries as he had, he made the right move by taking his talent to the next level with the hope of being picked early in the draft.

He is talented, bruise-imposing and shifty, but how can the Spartans replace such a back that led the offense just a year ago? The Michigan State offense is already looking forward after their pathetic 2012 showing, ranking close to the bottom in the nation in many offensive categories.

Nick Hill may be the short-term answer. The soon-to-be junior running back had time to learn under Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell for the past two seasons and has the speed to earn the spot. He may be quick, but he slightly undersized from what the Spartans are used to.

He is just 5-foot-8 and 190 pounds, so the running game will look completely different. Although Hill hasn’t officially been named the starter, he is the favorite heading into the spring game.

Michigan State will miss Bell, but with him gone and the team needing to mix it up offensively, it may force quarterback Andrew Maxwell to improve his passing attack and maybe muster up some confidence.

Will the Spartans miss Bell? Of course, but they will also be fine without him.

Connor Muldowney is a College Football writer for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.