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Published: 1/5/2010

OSU's Gibson to enter NFL Draft; Heyward, Chekwa to return

BY MATT MARKEY
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

COLUMBUS -- Ohio State junior defensive lineman Thaddeus Gibson announced Tuesday afternoon that he is leaving the Buckeyes a year early to enter the 2010 NFL Draft.

Gibson, one of nine junior starters for the Buckeyes who are eligible to enter the draft, announced his intentions just prior to a pair of Buckeyes releasing word that they would remain at OSU. Defensive lineman Cameron Heyward and defensive back Chimdi Chekwa both said they will return to the Buckeyes for their senior season.

Gibson had 82 tackles for Ohio State in his three years as a Buckeye and was named to the all-Big Ten team this season. As Ohio State won a fifth straight Big Ten championship and claimed a Rose Bowl victory over Oregon, the Euclid native had 13 tackles for loss on the season, along with four sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and an interception.

“I am not leaving the Buckeye family," Gibson said in a statement. "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.”

Heyward, a graduate of Peachtree Ridge High School in Suwanee, Ga., has 115 tackles in his three years at Ohio State, and was an all-Big Ten selection this season when he led the Buckeyes with 7.5 sacks.


“I am excited about next season and am looking forward to being one of the senior leaders of our team," Heyward said in a statement. "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."

Chekwa, who has 103 tackles as a Buckeye, is a product of East Ridge High School in Clermont, Fla. He was named honorable mention all-Big Ten this past season.

"I prayed about this decision and talked about it with my parents, and I know this is the right decision for me," Chekwa said in a statement. "I am looking forward to being a leader on what can be a very special defense for the Buckeyes. After the Rose Bowl win, we are working toward accomplishing more great things, including another Big Ten title and a run at the national championship.”




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