Colorado State sophomore running back Kapri Bibbs announced Sunday that his record-setting 2013 season will be his last at the college level.
Via his Twitter account, Bibbs wrote: "To my Ram fans and Colorado State people I am officially joining in the 2014 NFL draft."
In his only season at CSU, the 5-foot-11, 203-pounder rushed for school records of 1,741 yards and 31 touchdowns. He will give up his final two seasons of college eligibility.
"Kapri told me he is 100 percent convinced that he should be in the 2014 NFL draft," said Stacey Griffin, Bibbs' mother. "He knows that as a running back, he only has a certain amount of time. He knows the (playing) lifespan of a running back can only be a couple of years.
"Kapri's goal has always been to play in 'the league.' But he doesn't want to go in with injuries. He wants to be able to give it 110 percent. Now he has that window."
It's unclear whether Bibbs has completed the necessary paperwork with the NFL. Colorado State coach Jim McElwain said in a statement through the school's sports information department: "Whatever decision Kapri chooses to make, we will support him and be here to help him."
As a first-year player in the CSU program, Bibbs was kept off limits to the media, a ban that was liftedSunday. However, he did not return a phone message from The Denver Post.
Bibbs is eligible for the NFL draft following his sophomore year because he is three years removed from his 2010 senior season at Plainfield North High School in suburban Chicago.
"This news didn't surprise me because I knew there was a strong possibility he was going to go pro," said CSU senior linebacker Shaquil Barrett. "There was a lot of talk in the locker room (late in the season) about it.
"In the NFL, running backs get hurt and get replaced all the time. He can make the most of this opportunity. We're losing a lot of leaders on this team and maybe he wanted to go out with us."
Bibbs initially was a member of CSU's 2011 recruiting class but failed to qualify academically and played a year of junior college football, at Snow College in Utah, that autumn.
In the fall of 2012, Bibbs took classes at Front Range Community College before finally enrolling at CSU in January 2013.
Bibbs set a Mountain West scoring record this year with 186 points. His 1,741 yards rushing rank second in conference history to the record of 1,883 yards set in 2012 by Stefphon Jefferson of Nevada.
Bibbs set a CSU single-game rushing record with 312 yards against Nevada, showing power, speed and elusiveness.
"Kapri kind of reminds us of those Oregon Ducks running backs," CSU quarterback Garrett Grayson said during the season. "Once he wants to get at top speed, he's at top speed now."
Bibbs also showed a nose for the end zone. He scored three or more touchdowns in eight games, including three in the Rams' come-from-behind, 48-45 victory over Washington State in the Dec. 21 New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque.
One of his touchdown runs in the bowl game went for 75 yards. That now will go in the CSU books as his career long — at the college level, anyway.
"Kapri has always been mature beyond his years," said Bibbs' mother. "It's hard for him to leave the CSU family, the university, the state. He had such a big following from the fans. But he said it's time to take it to the next level."