Justin Fields, arguably the most talented quarterback in Ohio State history, announced on Monday he will enter this spring’s NFL draft, forgoing his remaining college eligibility during the last day for underclassmen to turn pro.
The decision had long been anticipated as he is expected to be one of the top selections in the draft behind Clemson star Trevor Lawrence, who is favored to be the No. 1 overall pick and has long been billed as the best passing prospect since Andrew Luck.
A recent mock draft by USA TODAY Sports projects Fields to be taken fourth overall by the Atlanta Falcons. Since the AFL-NFL merger in 1970, only one quarterback from Ohio State has been picked in the top-five.
“Growing up, my dream was to one day play the game that I love at the highest level,” he wrote in a graphic shared on his Twitter account. “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.”
Earlier this month, Fields led the Buckeyes to the College Football Playoff championship game, their second-ever appearance in the final of the four-team postseason after he delivered a heroic effort in the Sugar Bowl.
Absorbing a bruising hit to his torso in the second quarter of the semifinal triumph, he went on to throw for career highs of 385 yards and six touchdowns, setting up the title game matchup with top-seeded Alabama.
In his two seasons in Columbus, Fields finished 20-2 as a starter, the second-highest winning percentage by a Buckeyes starting quarterback with at least 16 starts in his career. Only Rex Kern, who led Ohio State to a 25-2 stretch between 1968 and 1970, holds a better record.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Joey Kaufman