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Boise • Robert Turbin has begun the process of deciding whether to leave college early to enter the NFL draft.

The junior running back at Utah State said Thursday that he recently submitted papers asking to receive an evaluation from the NFL assessing his draft prospects. He said he will make a decision based on that, and his family's financial needs.

"If it's high enough, then I really have something to thing about," Turbin said. "But coach [Gary] Andersen and I will sit down and talk about it after the season. It's going to be a hard decision."

Utah State is preparing to face Ohio on Saturday in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. Turbin is a fifth year junior, having already endured two season-ending injuries in his career. This year, Turbin has run for more than 1,400 yards and was named the Western Athletic Conference player of the year.

Still, Turbin insists there is at least a chance he will return for his senior season, in part out of loyalty to the program, and because he enjoys the college experience.

"It's really harder than you think," Turbin said. "It's not easy to pack up and leave teammates. There are other opportunities to pursue. I can get a master's degree, I can be on a very good team next season. I can pursue a Heisman Trophy. People can easily say that I should just go for the money. But that's not what it's all about."

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