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Published: Thursday, 12/28/2006

Barton to stay with Buckeyes

ASSOCIATED PRESS

COLUMBUS - Ohio State offensive tackle Kirk Barton will return to the Buckeyes for his senior season in 2007, passing up a chance to enter the NFL.

"The best thing for me and my family is for me to stay at Ohio State and continue my college football career as I work toward my degree," Barton said in a statement.

Barton was one of four offensive starters who requested a draft evaluation from an NFL committee. Tailback Antonio Pittman and wide receivers Ted Ginn Jr. and Anthony Gonzalez, all fellow juniors, had filed the nonbinding, preliminary forms, usually seen as a first step toward coming out early for the draft.

Barton, a 6-foot-6, 310-pounder, was an All-Big Ten selection this season for the top-ranked Buckeyes (12-0). He started all 12 games this year and has played in 33 games the last three seasons, starting in 28.



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