Numerous Ohio State sophomores and juniors with the potential to leave for the NFL chose to keep their decision under wraps after the Buckeyes topped Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl.
Going into the game juniors Ezekiel Elliott and Cardale Jones had already publicly announced that they would be headed to the NFL next year, while head coach Urban Meyer let slip that Joey Bosa would be joining them. Along with that trio, Darron Lee, Jalin Marshall, Vonn Bell, Eli Apple and Michael Thomas have all been pegged as potential early departures, though none of them said they had come to a decision just yet.
“I’m gonna weigh my options with my family, talk it over with them and look forward to making that decision,” Lee said after tallying seven tackles and two sacks in Ohio State’s 44-28 win.
Lee said he doesn’t have a timetable for a decision just yet, and Bell simply said “no comment” when prompted about his future. Like his teammates, Thomas said he hadn’t made a decision yet, and Marshall said he’s still considering his options.
“I mean I’ve thought about it but I haven’t made a decision,” Marshall said. “I’m happy where I’m at and I’ll sit down with my coaches and I’ll go from there.”
Apart from Bosa, Elliott and Jones, the only Buckeye to give a definitive decision after the bowl win was junior punter Cameron Johnston, who tweeted about getting ready for his senior season with Ohio State.
Bosa technically hadn’t announced his decision to go pro before the game, but Meyer’s announcement during a press conference the day before the Fiesta Bowl left no doubt. Bosa said he was hoping to keep his decision private until after the game in order to keep focus on the task at hand.
But with the news already out, Bosa had a chance to reflect on his Ohio State career – which ended earlier than he would have liked with a targeting call in the first quarter against the Irish.
“I can’t sum it up in a short amount of time,” Bosa said. “It’s been so amazing. I wouldn’t change it for the world, it’s been the best three years of my life and I’ll remember it forever.
“It’s pretty unbelievable that it’s over already. It’s been a long three years but it’s been a great three years and now i’m at this point it’s amazing how fast it all ends.”
Projected as one of the top picks for the 2016 NFL Draft, Bosa could end up back in Ohio with the Cleveland Browns, which would have its pros and cons, he said.
“It would be awesome to be able to go see all my guys at Ohio State, to be close to them,” Bosa said of the possibility of going to Cleveland. “Wouldn’t like the winters again, (though), hopefully somewhere warm.”