As much as it would have been nice to have Toney come back for a sixth year, this is the only decision that makes sense if you look at things from Toney’s perspective. Baker just came off a year where he rushed for nearly five yards per carry after taking nearly two full years off due to his injuries. I’m not sure where (or if) Baker will get drafted, but his stock certainly can’t get much higher.
If he was to come back he would risk more injury and if he was to suffer another major injury that would most likely end his career for good. He has to strike while the iron is hot — or at least warm. Baker would also be splitting time with guys like James Washington, Curtis Underwood and Brandon Barnes. It just doesn’t make good sense for Baker to come back.
“After talking to my family, my coaches and doing a lot of praying, I’ve decided that it’s time for me to pursue playing football at the next level,” Baker said in a prepared statement. “It was a tough decision because I have loved my time at NC State and have really enjoyed playing for Coach [Tom] O’Brien. But after weighing all my options, I think this is the right move for me at this time in my life.”
Toney has been an outstanding representative of NC State football his entire career and seems to have his head on straight. Hopefully he can continue on with his football life in the NFL and have a successful career.