Ball State Cardinals' top running back, Caleb Huntley, opts out of MAC title game

MUNCIE, Ind. -- Ball State will be without top running back Caleb Huntley for Friday's Mid-American Conference championship game after he announced Sunday was opting out of the rest of this season.

The 5-foot-10, 229-pound back from Atlanta says he will instead focus on preparing for April's NFL draft.

Huntley rushed for 437 yards and six touchdowns in the Cardinals first three games and extended his streak of consecutive 100-yard games to seven. But he missed Ball State's final three games with an undisclosed injury.

"Caleb is a tremendous young man who has been selfless, hard-working and totally team-oriented since his arrival four years ago," coach Mike Neu said in a statement. "He is a huge part of this senior class that has led the turnaround in our program and made Cardinals everywhere so proud. Caleb was on pace for a remarkable senior season before he was sidelined by injury, but his name will still go down in the record books among a distinguished line of running backs."

Huntley finishes his career with 2,902 yards, seventh on Ball State's career list, and his 21 TD runs are 10th in school history.

The Cardinals (5-1) won their final five games to clinch the league's West Division title with Saturday's 30-27 victory over Western Michigan and will face No. 23 Buffalo (5-0) on Friday night in the Detroit.