Thursday, January 8, 2009

OSU Football: Good bye, Beanie

Just hours after posting my blog about the possibility of Ohio State running back, Chris "Beanie" Wells, leaving the Buckeyes for the National Football League, the star player out of Akron has made his decision known.

Wells announced in a school-issued statement, that he will forgo his senior season at Ohio State to enter the 2009 NFL Draft.

"This has been a difficult decision," Wells said in the statement. "But, in the best interest of my family, I have decided to enter my name into the 2009 National Football League draft.

"I want to thank my teammates, my coaches, my teachers and the academic advisors for all they have done, and I definitely want to thank the Buckeye fans for all their support. Ohio State has become like a family to me, and it will always be that way ...

"I will always appreciate everything Ohio State has done in helping me grow up and become a man, and I will always be a Buckeye."

Wells was one of the greatest running backs in the school's history, and that's saying a lot, since OSU is the place where the only two-time Heisman Trophy winner, Archie Griffin, played his collegiate ball.

In his three seasons in Columbus, Wells rushed for 3,382 yards (fourth in school history) and 30 touchdowns. He was voted as OSU's Most Valuable Player in 2007 and 2008.

Wells was also the biggest Michigan killer of them all, rushing for 222 yards and two touchdowns in the Buckeyes' 14-3 win over the Wolverines in 2007. And this past November, Wells ran for 134 yards and one score in OSU's 42-7 win over "That school up north."

Wells stated that his performances against Michigan is something he will always cherish.

"There are a lot of things I know I will miss," Wells said. "Just being in the locker room, spending time with my teammates and playing in the Michigan game."

Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel stated that he will truly miss Wells — and his smile which stretches from Youngstown to Bryan.

"Ohio State football will miss Beanie's big runs," Tressel said. "But we will also miss his big smile.

"He has been a tremendous teammate and one of the all-time great performers in the greatest rivalry in college football (OSU-Michigan).

"He will always be an ambassador for Ohio State and all of us wish him well."

In numerous NFL Mock Drafts around the web, Wells has been projected as a first round pick. He has been listed to go as high as No. 5 to the Cleveland Browns and as low as No. 21 to the Arizona Cardinals.