In a move that’s been rumored for weeks, Ohio State will be without the services of at least one of their top defensive linemen when 2010 rolls around.
At least one.
According to Adam Rittenberg‘s Big Ten blog on ESPN.com, end Thaddeus Gibson will forego his final season with the Buckeyes and make himself available for the NFL draft.
Rittenberg reports that Gibson, who finalized his decision after meeting with members of the coaching staff Monday, will make an official announcement this afternoon.
Fellow lineman Cameron Heyward has yet to make a final decision on his future, although it’s believed he’s leaning toward returning for another season.
UPDATE 3:47 p.m. ET: Gibson has made his decision to go pro official, and here’s a part of the press release issued by the school.
“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.”
Gibson said he has “grown a lot from his experience at Ohio State,” crediting the January 1 Rose Bowl win over Oregon as one of his most memorable Ohio State experiences.
“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.”