The number of early enrollees has climbed to six for Ohio State as redshirt sophomore cornerback Eli Apple has announced his decision to enter the 2016 NFL Draft.
Apple is regarded in some NFL mock drafts as a top 10 corner, and just three days after a five tackle performance against Notre Dame, took to Twitter to announce his decision.
“I’d like to thank my parents for their constant support. I wouldn’t be here without their sacrifice,” Apple wrote. “Thanks to Coach Meyer for his leadership, Coach Fickell and Coach Ash for believing in my talents and helping me to develop; Coach Coombs for helping me grow in my position, as a unit leader and as a young man.”
Apple went on to thank former Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who began Apple’s recruitment to Columbus at an early age.
“Without him, I wouldn’t be a Buckeye. When I was 11, I came to an Ohio State football camp, and I knew I wanted to be here,” Apple said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better college experience.”
The New Jersey product started all but one game in his Ohio State career and finished his final campaign as a Buckeye with 33 tackles, eight pass breakups and an interception.
Apple joins the ever growing list of Buckeyes to declare early for the draft, as now he along with Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott, Cardale Jones, Darron Lee and Tyvis Powell will all be eligible to be selected in the upcoming draft.
The list could grow as large as nine for Ohio State early enrollees, junior safety Vonn Bell and wide receivers Michael Thomas and Jalin Marshall have yet to announce their decisions.
Bell is considered one of, if not the top draft eligible safety and Thomas is largely regarded as the first or second best eligible wide receiver.