According to Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel on Friday afternoon, four
junior Buckeyes have submitted their names to the NFL's draft advisory panel.
Each year, draft-eligible underclassmen can enter their names into a
pre-draft committee that gives feedback on where prospective entrants might hear
their names called in the NFL Draft. Friday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center,
Tressel, his coaches and several players met with the media previewing their
National Championship game against Florida, among other topics.
Kirk Barton, Antonio Pittman, Anthony Gonzalez and Ted Ginn all submitted the
necessary paperwork to the NFL awaiting consultation on their possible draft
"It was Coach Tressel's idea," Gonzalez said. "He thought it would be a good
idea for me to turn it in to see what they say."
Although the four players will have their own individual criteria when
determining whether or not to depart early for the NFL, it's a choice that will
be weighing heavily on their minds after the BCS Championship game on Jan. 8.
For the 6-1 Gonzalez, who had 49 receptions for 723 yards and 8 touchdowns
this season, the NFL committee projections are unlikely to make an impact.
"I'm only going to listen to the people that I trust," Gonzalez added. "I
trust my family and I trust Coach Tressel. That's it."
While Gonzalez maintains he's still planning to return, most people have not
expected as much from another Buckeye receiver.
Ted Ginn has long been expected to leave for the NFL following his junior
season. Ginn improved drastically from his sophomore season, leading Ohio State
in yards (761), receptions (59) and touchdowns (9).
OSU wide receivers coach Darrell Hazell has been impressed with Ginn's
"I'm so proud of him - he's come so far in three years," he said of Ginn.
"Just this year, you watch the first game until now and he's come so far. It's
the little things, the little details that you guys probably don't see studying
the film...He's only scratching the surface, that's the scary part."
The question remains whether the 6-1 Ginn is ready for the NFL.
"I don't know, we'll see after the championship game," Hazell said with a
Hazell is hoping to coach his star pupil for one more season.
"What would I like to do with him? I'd like to keep him here for about 25
more years," Hazell added jokingly.
In considering the NFL, Pittman rushed for 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns this
season. Should he return, he would continue the successful combination of he and
freshman tailback Chris Wells.
Much like Gonzalez, Pittman remained non-committal about whether he would
return for his senior season.
It's likely they all will take a wait-and-see approach.
"We're just awaiting some information so that we can make some good
decisions," said Tressel. "It's part of the deal."
"Our focus is Florida right now," Hazell added. "We're not worried about
who's filing what."