Nov 30, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back George Atkinson III (4) tries to escape Stanford Cardinal defenders on a kick off return during the second quarter at Stanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Notre Dame running back George Atkinson declares for the NFL Draft

Notre Dame Fighting Irish running back George Atkinson has declared for the 2014 NFL Draft, according to his father, George Atkinson, Sr., via Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com.

It has been a bit of a rough career for Atkinson and he did not get to play in what could have and should have been the final game of his career. Atkinson was suspended for the Irish’s 29-16 victory over the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in the Pinstripe Bowl on December for what head coach Brian Kelly called the infamous “violation of team rules.”

Later, Atkinson tweeted that he was texting friends and family during the team meal and that was the reason for his suspension.

After rushing for 27 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries as a freshman in 2011 and 361 yards and five touchdowns on 51 carries as a sophomore in 2012, Atkinson entered 2013 as the starter.  Atkinson rushed for 555 yards and three touchdowns on 93 carries this season.

According to an ESPN source, the 6’1.5, 220 lb. Atkinson’s draft grade ranged from “from the fourth round and below.”

Tags: George Atkinson Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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