Tuesday Afternoon Good News/Bad News for Ohio State Football
We have some good news and some bad news for fans of Ohio State football. After a strong showing in winning the Rose Bowl over a quality opponent and with few departing seniors, the Buckeyes were looking to challenge for the national title next season. However, there is always the risk of top juniors leaving early for the NFL. The players the Buckeyes were concerned about going pro were Cameron Heyward and Thaddeus Gibson. Well, those players have made up their minds about staying or leaving.
Heyward is staying for his senior season:
A statement from Heyward:
"I am excited about next season and am looking forward to being one of the senior leaders of our team. I sat down and talked at length with my family about my situation, and they totally support my decision. I've been blessed to this point. I am just having fun being a college student.
"I learned a lot from seniors like Doug (Worthington) and Kurt (Coleman) and all they were able to accomplish during their senior year. I would love to be a part of Buckeye tradition like that. I think the upside is very positive.
"I want to help our team achieve the goals of winning another Big Ten title and possibly accomplishing a national championship. If I could win some recognition, that would be great as well. I think I can be a leader for our team, and I know another season will help me become a better player."
Sadly, Gibson is leaving for the NFL:
In a statement, Gibson said:I wish him well. Sure, it would have been nice to see him wreck havoc next year, but I don't begrudge a player seeking to get paid. Also, he was red shirted as a freshman which means he has been on campus four years.
"I would like to thank Coach Tressel, Coach Fickell, Coach Heacock, Shelly Poe, and the entire Ohio State football staff, as well as my mother, brother and of course God, for helping me to have the opportunity to enter the draft, and for the support from my teammates, alumni, and Ohio State fans across the nation.
"I am not leaving the Buckeye family. I wish the team the very best in the upcoming years and I thank all my teammates for all their support. I will keep in touch with my Buckeye family and I love them all. I will always bleed Scarlet and Gray."
Neither player's decision is surprising. Heyward is the son of the late NFL running back Craig “Ironhead” Heyward and probably doesn't have the financial urgency to rush to the pros. Personally, I think the draft "experts" predicting Heyward would be drafted in the middle of the first round were being overly generous. If both had gone pro I'd have expected Gibson to be picked first somewhere near the end of the first or early in the second round depending on what other juniors enter the draft.