No News is Good News on OSU Underclassmen
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the 2011 NFL Draft has come and gone, but still no official word on Ohio State’s five suspended juniors.
The NFL won’t release its official list until the middle of this week, but no news is good news for Buckeye fans; at least until it’s not.
In the past, Ohio State has made an official release containing statements from underclassmen who are declaring for the draft. However, there has been nothing but the sound of crickets coming from the Woody Hayes Athletic Center since the Buckeyes returned from New Orleans.
Asked about the status of the five suspended juniors—along with center Michael Brewster—on Saturday Jan. 15 (which was the deadline to declare), a university spokesperson said that there was “no news to report at this time.”
That’s not exactly confirmation that everyone is planning to return for next season, but it took less than a week for them to release a statement from Thad Gibson a year ago, when the defensive end made his decision to turn pro.
They also released statements around the same time from Cam Heyward, Chimdi Chekwa and Ross Homan, all of whom opted to return for their senior seasons at Ohio State.
There has been no such release concerning junior Terrelle Pryor, DeVier Posey, Dan Herron, Mike Adams and Solomon Thomas, but all indications are that all five of them will return for the 2011 season despite the looming five game suspensions.
Ohio State announced its official appeal of those suspensions back on Jan. 8, but there is no guarantee the NCAA will lighten the sentence on the five players who sold Big Ten Championship rings, Gold Pants and other items to the owner of a Columbus tattoo parlor.
Brewster—who is not one of the five, but was also considering a jump to the NFL—has gone on the record that he will be back next season. So have Posey, Pryor, Thomas and Herron, who all made a pact with OSU Head Coach Jim Tressel to return next season if he allowed them to play in the Sugar Bowl.
Adams, the team’s starting left tackle, is the only one who has yet to make an public commitment to coming back. He told the-Ozone directly following the Sugar Bowl that he was waiting to hear more details about the appeal, but has since made a public post on his Twitter account which states he plans to return.
Sources have also confirmed to the-Ozone that all six Buckeyes will be back next season, but none of that qualifies as a binding contract with either Ohio State or the NFL.
Though other big names from the Big Ten have already announced their decisions to turn pro—including Wisconsin tailback John Clay, Iowa safety Tyler Sash, Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson and Indiana receiver Tandon Doss—none of the six Buckeyes have appeared on any list of underclassmen leaving early.
It’s not out of the question that one or more of them are on the official list, but at this point it seems highly unlikely. If they are, the deadline to withdraw is Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Donate by Check :
1380 King Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43212
Help us bring you more Buckeye coverage. Donate to the-Ozone.
Click here to email this the-Ozone feature to a friend...or even a foe.
(c) 2010 The O-Zone, O-Zone Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, rebroadcast,rewritten, or redistributed.