Toney Baker not returning to NC State


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.

'09 Football '10 Football

17 Responses to Toney Baker not returning to NC State

  1. graywolf 01/05/2010 at 11:51 AM #

    Cannot blame him at all….

    Good luck Toney and thanks for being a class act while at NC State.

  2. wolfbuff 01/05/2010 at 2:33 PM #

    Not a surprise. As I was telling my son last night, I would counsel him to go if asked. There is more risk in him staying another year than there is potential gain. Good luck Toney and thanks for coming to Wolfpack Nation. Go make us proud.

  3. travelwolf 01/05/2010 at 2:34 PM #

    Toney is doing the right thing and moving on. Best of luck at the next level.

  4. bradleyb123 01/05/2010 at 3:51 PM #

    The only reason he should have stayed is if his expected draft position would be so bad that an additional year in college would only have improved his standing. I don’t blame him a bit for leaving. I wish you well Toney. You will be missed in Raleigh. Best of luck at the next level!

  5. jaybird80 01/05/2010 at 6:26 PM #

    As a running back, you are one injury away from the end of your career and he has already worked himself back from a career threatening injury. Thank you Toney for all of your contributions and I look forward to following you on Sundays!!!

  6. tcthdi-tgsf-twhwtnc 01/05/2010 at 9:23 PM #

    No need to spend 6 years in college playing football. Six years in school is hard enough on the body even if you are only a waiter.

  7. AveryPage 01/05/2010 at 10:46 PM #

    im happy to see tony pursuing the dream.
    he deserves it. he’s a class act and a great guy.
    best of luck to him at the next level.
    but i think james washington is the future for the pack at rb.

  8. packalum44 01/05/2010 at 11:23 PM #

    This should be old news 🙂

  9. Dogbreath 01/05/2010 at 11:44 PM #

    Smart move. Coming back to NC State would be like playing Russian Roulette with all six chambers loaded and an extra magazine to spare.

  10. Wufpacker 01/06/2010 at 2:08 AM #

    Hate to see him go, but I must echo what most everyone has said so far. Choosing to go now makes way more sense for Toney and his long term career goals. He had a pretty darn good year this year, and has shown that despite injury he can still get the job done. Coming back next year would have done nothing for him over and above that. It will be another year of RB by committee and so he would not be able to produce any gaudy stats that would grab anyone’s attention. Plus, the career ending injury could be upcoming on the very next play for the entire season.

    Going now allows him a chance to prove himself NFL worthy. If he can catch on somewhere I suspect he’ll have a nice little career. And should he desire to return and complete his education sometime in the future that option is certainly available to him.

    Of course he’ll be missed, but this definitely is the ONLY choice that makes sense for him. I wish him the best of luck come draft day, and in everything after that as well, and fully expect he will make NCSU proud.

  11. Wolf74 01/06/2010 at 7:55 AM #

    I have always felt a player should do what is in his best interest. If Toney truly feels this is the best time to try the draft, then all I have to say is best of luck to you and thank you for your time and efforts on the behalf of NCSU.

  12. GoldenChain 01/06/2010 at 10:29 AM #

    After filing for the extra year I thought he would probably come back but I certainly agree and understand.
    Hopefully he makes a team and gets a chance.

  13. Sam92 01/06/2010 at 10:53 AM #

    i can understand where tony is coming from – he wants to take his shot now, i hope he makes it in the nfl

    anybody have any news on football recruiting? would love to see some info about that

  14. GAWolf 01/06/2010 at 11:57 AM #

    Best wishes to Toney… but that about sums up the luck of the Wolfpack.

  15. BoKnowsNCS71 01/06/2010 at 2:01 PM #

    Hate to lose him but probably the best decision for him. He would get a chance to play in the NFL in 2010. If he stayed here there is a high probability of an NFL owners lockout in 2011 that woudl shut down the season or greatley shorten it. (Owners fighting over profit sharing) If that lockout occurs his draft opportunities could be diluted in 2011.

  16. mafpack 01/06/2010 at 2:13 PM #

    Glad to see Toney take his shot at the next level – he’s got a great build for an every down back if he stays healthy and could do very well in the NFL should he be given the chance.

    As a thought too, because someone mentioned something about Toney coming back for his degree earlier in this thread, going off of Toney’s interview with Ken Tysiac yesterday, he has already earned his degree from NCSU. So it looks like his college commitments in that regard have been fulfilled, in which case this decision makes even more sense (as if it needed any).

    Go get um Toney! 🙂

  17. BoKnowsNCS71 01/08/2010 at 9:56 AM #

    At least Tom O’Brian let Toney do what is best for him. Unlike Butch Davis who persuaded all those Juniors from going pro. Just wait until they come out on the market next year “to get paid” and find out there is an NFL lockout and that the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (which was not renewed this year) is gone and that they will be dealing with a lockout and new pay rules.

Leave a Reply