Head coach Urban Meyer confirmed at least three players will be leaving Ohio State early for the NFL, and noted more decisions have yet to be made.
During a joint press conference with Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly previewing the Fiesta Bowl Meyer said juniors Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa and Cardale Jones have all confirmed they’ll enter the 2016 NFL Draft. Meyer said it’s tough on all parties when players have to make a decision regarding the NFL, but he noted having players leave early is better than not having them on the team at all.
“That’s the way it is,” Meyer said. “I’d rather be in that situation than have a bunch of not very good players.”
Apart from Bosa, Elliott and Jones there are numerous Ohio State juniors – and redshirt sophomores – who could decide to leave after the Fiesta Bowl.
“It is a very good junior class,” Meyer said. “I take my hat off to them because I know what’s out there. I know the agents. I know the pressures that are being put (on them).”
Press Conference Notes
- Meyer said Ohio State has had a “great week” in Arizona and praised the hospitality at the Fiesta Bowl.
- Meyer said fifth-year senior Braxton Miller has had a “very unique journey” at Ohio State, and added that Miller has done everything right along the way.
- Kelly said it’s a “testament to both programs” that there will be so much NFL talent on the field when the Fiesta Bowl kicks off Friday afternoon.
- When asked about Elliott being able to play in the bowl game with senior Adolphus Washington suspended, Meyer said the two players simply had completely different situations, with Washington’s being much more serious.
- Both coaches were asked about college coaches being tempted to join the NFL ranks. Kelly said it’s not “tempting at all” while Meyer said he spends “very little time” thinking about the NFL.