Temple RB Pierce will not return for senior season

Temple running back Bernard Pierce (30) jogs into the end zone for a touchdown in front of Maryland defensive back Eric Franklin in the first half of an NCAA football game in College Park, Md., Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

January 8, 2012 7:54:15 PM PST
Temple running back Bernard Pierce will not return for his senior season and will declare for the NFL draft.

Pierce told The Associated Press his decision late Thursday night.

Helping to turn the Owls from one of the one worst programs in college football into a consistent bowl team, Pierce rushed for 3,570 yards over his three-year career with a school-record 52 touchdowns. He rushed for 100 yards on 25 carries and two touchdowns in Temple's 37-15 New Mexico Bowl victory over Wyoming in December.

Pierce says he's leaving because he's accomplished all he wanted at Temple. He says he will train in Atlanta and intends to return to Temple to complete his degree.