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COLUMBUS - The potential starting lineup for the 2009 edition of the Ohio State football team continued to evolve yesterday - better than seven months before the first game Sept. 5 against Navy.
Junior wide receiver Brian Hartline announced he will skip his final year with the Buckeyes to enter the NFL draft, joining classmate Chris "Beanie" Wells in that effort. Junior defensive back Kurt Coleman took the opportunity to say he will stick around and play another year in Columbus.
"I have had an outstanding experience at OSU, and am thankful for the support I continue to receive," Hartline said. "I now look forward to testing myself against the top competitors in the National Football League."
Hartline, who had 90 receptions for 1,449 yards during three seasons with the Buckeyes, scored 13 touchdowns for Ohio State, including one in the 2007 season on a 90-yard punt return.
The graduate of GlenOak High School in North Canton had his string of at least one pass reception in 30 straight games snapped in the recent Fiesta Bowl, where he sat out the first quarter for disciplinary reasons, and went without a reception in the game.
Coleman, a product of Northmont High School near Dayton, had 78 tackles and four interceptions this past season, when he earned All-Big Ten honors for the Buckeyes. He said he put a lot of thought and study into his decision to complete his full four-year career at Ohio State.
"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. I felt this was the best decision. 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."
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The powerful running back Wells, whose three-season total of 3,382 rushing yards rank him fourth best overall in Ohio State history, said last week he was leaving Ohio State early to enter the draft. Wells was the Buckeyes' MVP the past two seasons, had 16 games in his career with 100 or more yards, and scored 30 touchdowns as a Buckeye.
LANE UPDATE: Ohio State
senior special teams player Shaun Lane, who was injured making the tackle on a kickoff in the Fiesta Bowl game with Texas, is now back home in Columbus and continuing his recovery. Lane experienced some tingling in his arm off and on for a few days after the game and remained in Phoenix. He is expected to make a full recovery, according to an Ohio State spokesperson.
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