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LSU running back Derrius Guice (5) on the field before kickoff against Texas A&M, Saturday, November 25, 2017, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK

Derrius Guice's decision — go pro or return for his senior season — is still up "in the air" and won't be made until after LSU's bowl game, he said in a post Monday night on Instagram.

Guice, a Baton Rouge native out of Catholic, is expected to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the draft. The running back is projected as a first-round draft pick, a prospect who one draft analyst said last week could potentially slide into the top 10 in April's draft.

"My decision to leave or stay is still in the air and I will not know until after the bowl game so respect that!!" he wrote in a post that, as of Tuesday morning had received more than 18,000 likes. 

A majority of Guice's 150-word post regards the injury he played with for much of the season, something that hampered his play. Guice injured his knee in preseason camp when hurdling a player and he re-injured the knee in the second half of a loss to Mississippi State in Game 3. 

In the post, Guice says he's "finally 100% thank the lord."

"Played through most of the pain until some games I couldn't," he wrote. "No player wants to be injured or play injured. I did the best I could this year for my team. We have grown up so much this year as a football program and will only get better from her(e).

"This season is not what I expected for myself and I know most didn't expect it as well so sorry to disappoint!"

Guice completely missed one game and played in parts of several. He ranks 27th nationally averaging 104.82 yards a game. His 1,153 yards is more than 200 yards below is total last season, a year in which he shared time with Leonard Fournette. 

He entered this season as a top-10 Heisman Trophy favorite before falling on hard times. After re-injuring the knee, Guice did not break 100 yards in five consecutive games, exploding for 276 at Ole Miss. He cracked the 100-yard mark against Arkansas and Texas A&M.

Playing through the injury only helps Guice's NFL prospects, said Matt Miller, a draft analyst for BleacherReport.com.

"We’ve seen him come back and dominate," Miller said. "He’s so pretty running the ball. Guice is so natural as a runner. He makes everything look easily. He runs with power and patience. It’s rare to find that balance.

"I think Guice has stayed about the same: 7-15 pick range. For some people, it helps that he played through it. One of the biggest questions with guys is do they love football? How committed are they to this game?"

No. 16 LSU (9-3) meets 14th-ranked Notre Dame (9-3) on Jan. 1 in Orlando, Florida, at the Citrus Bowl. Fournette, in a similar position to Guice last year, did not play in the Tigers' bowl game, skipping it to begin preparing for the draft.

Guice gave no indication he'd do such in his Instagram post. With a solid bowl performance, Guice is likely to break the school record for career yards-per-carry, set by Fournette, and he could crack the Southeastern Conference mark, set by Bo Jackson. Guice already holds the single-game rushing record (285, at Texas A&M last year) and the school's longest rushing touchdown (96 yards, at Arkansas last year). 

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15. LSU has lost 25 underclassmen to the NFL over the previous four years.

Follow Ross Dellenger on Twitter, @RossDellenger.