Wednesday, January 14, 2009

OSU Football: Coleman stays, Hartline goes

Bucks win one and lose one.

Ohio State junior safety, Kurt Coleman, decided on Wednesday to return to Columbus for his senior campaign with the Buckeyes, instead of entering the 2009 NFL Draft. 

After USC safety Taylor Mays announced on Tuesday that he will return to the Trojans in 2009, I really thought that Coleman would decide to test the NFL waters. With a solid combine performance and the lack of a top-flight safety coming out, Coleman may have parlayed the move into a low first round, high second round selection.

All-in-all, though, I feel Coleman made the right choice coming back to Columbus. He should emerge as one of the nation's best safeties, and with Malcolm Jenkins, James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman all gone, Coleman will be the unquestioned leader of the Buckeyes defense — which should still be one of the best units in the country.

On the other side, Buckeyes wide receiver Brian Hartline — who announced on Wednesday that he will forego his senior season and enter the NFL Draft — is making a grave decision.

Not only will Hartline not be selected on the first day of the draft, I don't see him getting selected, period. His forty time is decent (4.4), but he definitely doesn't play at that speed on the field. He lacks the NFL size, his route running is suspect and he hardly ever gets separation from opposing defensive backs.

If I were OSU head coach Jim Tressel, I would ask Hartline this — if you can't get separation past Boubacar Cissoko, how in the world are you going to make it by Champ Bailey?

Hartline dropped the ball on this one.