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Ohio State's Pete Werner Announces NFL Draft Decision

Ohio State linebacker Pete Werner celebrates a play against Clemson.

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - DECEMBER 28: Pete Werner #20 of the Ohio State Buckeyes reacts against the Clemson Tigers in the first half during the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium on December 28, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Another major contributor for the Ohio State Buckeyes is heading for the pros. Pete Werner, an All-Big Ten linebacker for the Buckeyes, has made his decision.

During this year's shortened season, Werner recorded 54 total tackles, a sack, and two forced fumbles. That includes nine tackles in the College Football Playoff semifinal win over Clemson, and eight in the national title loss to Alabama.

The NCAA's COVID-19 rules allow players to return for an extra season, even if their eligibility would have normally expired after 2020. However, after four years in Columbus, Werner is ready to take his shot at the league.

"The thing I will miss the most apart from the four conference championships, prestigious bowl victories, three pairs of gold pants and visits to amazing places all over the country is just hanging and working out with the great group of guys I will forever call my brothers," Werner wrote in his announcement, posted to Twitter. "I am looking forward to the next challenge and am excited to announced that I am officially declaring for the 2021 NFL Draft."

The Indiana native was a four-star recruit who committed to Urban Meyer back in 2016. He wound up playing sparingly as a freshman, and became a major contributor for the Buckeyes as a sophomore. Ohio State will have plenty of major holes to fill for 2021, on both sides of the ball. Quarterback Justin Fields is the headliner, but the team is also set to lose running back Trey Sermon, and offensive linemen Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers on that side of the ball. Cornerback Shaun Wade is probably the highest profile loss on defense, and is joined by defensive end Jonathan Cooper, and now three linebackers in Pete Werner, Baron Browning, and Justin Hilliard. Kicker Blake Haubeil and punter Drue Chrisman are also heading to the pros. [

Forever a Buckeye ❤️ pic.twitter.com/lpkBC2vdV9

— Pete Werner (@petewerner23) January 21, 2021

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