Coleman To Return To Ohio State For 2009

Kurt Coleman is not finished writing his legacy at Ohio State, he announced Wednesday morning. The junior safety will return to Columbus for one more year.

One day ahead of the deadline for juniors to announce their intentions to enter the 2009 NFL Draft or remain in school, Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman announced he would do the latter.

"After a lot of thought and study, I have decided to remain at Ohio State for the 2009 season to complete my degree and my college football career," the sport and leisure studies major said Wednesday morning via a release from the university.

The 5-11, 188-pound two-year starter from Dayton enjoyed a breakout 2008 campaign during which he led Ohio State with four interceptions. With a more physical style than his size might belie, Coleman finished third on the team with 78 tackles, the most for a defensive back. Four of those stops came behind the line of scrimmage, including one sack. He also broke up five passes and forced a fumble.

He was named honorable mention All-Big Ten at the conclusion of the regular season.

Not long after he submitted his paperwork to the NFL draft advisory board in December, Coleman told reporters he had not put much thought into leaving yet.

"It's more of a curiosity thing than something you want to do right now," he said back then. "I feel like I've been here with such great people. They've helped me raise my game to the next level. I just want to see what the next level thinks about me. Really my mind isn't on that at all, it's all on Texas."

He surely did little to hurt his standing with his performance against the Longhorns. He finished tied for the game high with 11 tackles and handed out several bone-crunching hits along the way.

In 2009, he is likely a candidate for team captain as the Buckeyes weather the loss of 28 seniors.

"My decision to come back is a lot about helping this team," Coleman said. "I feel we can do anything next year. We have a lot of great leaders coming back and an excellent group of underclass talent. For me personally, my family and I felt this was the best decision for me, to make my career at Ohio State even better than it has already been."

"I am extremely blessed to be in the position where these opportunities are possible, and I'm very grateful for the support of my family, my teammates and the Ohio State community. I have a lot to prove to myself and a lot of things I want to accomplish. With one more year here, I can attain all those goals."

Along with his on-the-field goals, Coleman expects to receive his undergraduate degree in December.

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