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Football: Curtis Samuel forgoing senior season for 2017 NFL draft

OSU junior H-back Curtis Samuel (4) rushes upfield with his teammates during their game against Michigan on Nov. 26 at Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes won 30-27. Credit: Mason Swires | Assistant Photo Editor

Junior H-back Curtis Samuel has decided to enter the NFL draft, forgoing his final season at Ohio State. Samuel’s decision was arguably the most important one of any players who could have declared early.

The news was first reported by Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports.com, then confirmed later by Samuel on Twitter.

Samuel was the glue to OSU’s offense in 2016. The do-it-all running back/wide receiver was perhaps coach Urban Meyer’s closest replica of the production he witnessed from Percy Harvin at Florida. Samuel accumulated 771 rushing yards and 865 receiving yards with 15 total touchdowns.

The Brooklyn, New York, native was the only player in the Football Bowl Subdivision with more than 700 yards both receiving and rushing.

OSU redshirt junior quarterback J.T. Barrett will be without his top two targets, Samuel and Noah Brown, in 2017. The departure of Samuel could lead to a starting role for freshman running back Demario McCall, who provides a speedy threat both out of the backfield and on routes.

Samuel is currently ranked as the fourth overall wide receiver and sixth best running back in this year’s NFL draft according to WalterFootball.com. He will most likely be a first or second round selection.

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