Ohio State QB Fields declares for draft; WR Olave returning

Local Sports

Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is forgoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft, while Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave is returning for his senior year.

The teammates announced their decisions Monday on Twitter.

Fields, expected to be a first-round pick, said in his lengthy Twitter post that his path to OSU was not direct, but that he couldn’t ”have asked for a better final destination.” He went on to thank his family, coaches, support staff and teammates.

”Growing up, my dream was to one day play the game that I love at the highest level. Now thanks to God’s grace and mercy, along with the help of you all, I am in a position to turn that dream into reality,” the 6-foot-3, 228-pound Fields posted.

The 21-year-old Fields was a Heisman Trophy finalist and went 20-2 as a two-year starter at Ohio State. He led the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff twice, losing to Clemson last season in the semifinals and falling to Alabama in this season’s title game.

Fields’ draft stock surged after he outplayed Trevor Lawrence in this season’s semifinal win over Clemson. With Lawrence all but certain to go to the Jacksonville Jaguars as the No. 1 overall pick, the New York Jets pick second and could make Fields the centerpiece of their rebuild if they decide to move on from Sam Darnold.

After playing his freshman season at Georgia, Fields passed for 5,373 yards and 63 touchdowns with nine interceptions for the Buckeyes. He also rushed for 867 yards and 15 TDs.

Olave was Ohio State’s leading receiver and Fields’ favorite target. The 6-1, 188-pound junior had 50 receptions for 729 yards and seven TDs this season.

Olave thanked his coaches and tweeted, ”There are so many great memories but we’re not done yet.”

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/Collegefootball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

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