Mizzou's Henry Josey Declares for NFL Draft

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COLUMBIA - After recording more than 1,000 rushing yards in a season for the second time in his career, Missouri junior tailback Henry Josey has declared for the 2014 NFL Draft. The 2013-14 season was a comeback season for Josey, who suffered a knee injury his sophomore year in 2011 against Texas.

"This is really a bittersweet decision to make," said Josey. "I'm so grateful to Mizzou and my coaches and teammates and fans for all of their support and everything they've meant to me these past four years. It's difficult to think I won't be with them next year. But I'm really excited to have a chance to play professionally and work on fulfilling a dream I've had since I was a little kid. I can't possibly express how much I owe to so many people for helping me get to this position, my doctors, trainers, strength coaches, everyone who pushed me and helped me and believed in me, and of course my coaches for trusting me. To the Mizzou fans, thanks so much for all of your prayers and thoughts the past couple of years, you truly inspired me to get back on the field. I'm going to miss my teammates but I know they'll do great things and I will always be a Mizzou Tiger."

Josey was asked about his NFL decision following the team's 41-31 Cotton Bowl win against Oklahoma State on Friday. He said he had not reached a decision at that time and had to talk to his grandmother about it first.

Coach Pinkel said, "Henry Josey is a first-class person any way you cut it, and anytime you take that out of your program, it leaves a void. He is such an amazing competitor, and I've said time and again just how inspiring he has been for our team the last two years. We were so proud of him for overcoming everything he had to deal with, and to be such a positive influence on and off the field. We're going to miss him, no question, but Henry wants to pursue his dream of playing professionally and we wish him nothing but the best and we'll do everything we can to help him reach that goal. The Mizzou Football program is in better shape because of his efforts, so we're grateful for the time he spent with us, and we know he'll represent Mizzou well going forward," he said.

Josey joins teammate Kony Ealy as the only other Mizzou junior who will leave school early for the draft at this time. Ealy made the announcement following the Cotton Bowl win.