Ohio State senior defensive tackle Haskell Garrett, senior wide receiver Chris Olave, junior offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere and junior wide receiver Garrett Wilson announced Monday afternoon that they’ll be opting out of the Rose Bowl and entering the 2022 NFL Draft, ending their Ohio State careers.
Wilson released a statement on his own, while Ryan Day confirmed to reporters that the remaining three wouldn’t be playing.
For Garrett, a five-year career for the Buckeyes ends with All-Big Ten and All-American honors, though injury issues held him off the field for much of Ohio State’s final month of the season. Unlike his teammates here, he did not have another season of eligibility available. He’s projected as a mid-round pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
Olave ends his time as a tremendously decorated wideout, leaving with the school’s career touchdown record and fifth in receiving yards with 2,711 despite never topping 1,000 yards in a season as a three-year starter – coming up just 64 yards short this season. He’s expected to be selected within the first two rounds of the draft.
Petit-Frere started each of the last two seasons for the Buckeyes, working in at the right tackle spot in 2020 and moving to left tackle in 2021 to make room for Dawand Jones. He too is slotted as an early draft pick, though struggles against Michigan to end his Ohio State career have damaged his stock slightly.
By opting out of the Rose Bowl, Wilson will end his Ohio State career with 143 receptions for 2,213 yards and 23 receiving touchdowns, in addition to 143 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown.
“I want to start this off by thanking you all from the bottom of my heart,” Wilson said in a statement. “These last three years have been unforgettable and becoming a Buckeye has been the single greatest decision of my life.
“I would like to thank my teammates, trainers and our entire coaching staff – Coach Hartline, Coach Day, Coach Mick and Coach Nico, thank you,” he continued. “I wouldn’t be in this situation without each and every one of you. To my family, thank you for your unconditional love, guidance and support.”
Wilson had 432 receiving yards and five touchdowns as a freshman before hauling in 723 yards and six touchdowns in his shortened sophomore season. He was an integral part of Justin Fields’ ascension at Ohio State, pulling in 1,155 of Fields’ 5,373 passing yards, second behind only Olave with 1,569 receiving yards from Fields.
This season, however, he took things to the next level, finishing with career highs in receptions (70), yards (1,058) and receiving touchdowns (12), though he did not lead Ohio State with any of those marks, as Jaxon Smith-Njigba led with 80 receptions and 1,259 yards, and Olave led with 13 receiving touchdowns.
“This journey has been a lifetime in the making and after careful consideration, today, I am excited to start the next chapter by declaring for the NFL Draft,” his statement continued.
Now off to the NFL, Wilson figures to be one of the top picks in the upcoming draft, as he is a unanimous first-round pick.