Michigan State senior running back LJ Scott, limited to four games this season because of an ankle injury, will redshirt and return next season, Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said Saturday.
Dantonio made the announcement after the Spartans' 26-6 home loss to Ohio State. The coach added that Scott and his family made the decision to return, and that he supported that choice.
Scott is taking advantage of a new NCAA college football rule that allows players to redshirt if they have played in no more than four games and have not previously redshirted.
"You have an opportunity for him to come back, get his degree. He wants to do that and get himself right to play his final season," Dantonio said at a press conference.
Scott (6-1, 225 points) is rated the fifth-best senior running back prospect according to NFLDraftScout.com.
Known as a powerful runner, he carried 55 times for 180 yards this season, first suffering the ankle injury in Week 2 in a loss at Arizona State. He has led the Spartans in rushing in each of the previous three seasons, including a career-high 994 yards as a sophomore, when he earned third-team All-Big Ten honors from the league media.
Scott will enter the 2019 season with 586 carries for 2,771 yards (4.7 per carry) and 25 touchdowns.
Michigan State dropped to 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the Big Ten with Saturday's loss to the Buckeyes, when the Spartans rushed for 54 yards on 18 attempts.