Sam Hubbard will skip final year of eligibility at Ohio State, enter NFL draft

Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard will skip his final year of eligibility in Columbus to enter the NFL draft, he announced via Twitter.

Hubbard posted a message to Ohio State fans Saturday morning, one day after picking up 2.5 sacks in a bowl victory over USC. A redshirt junior, he said he was ready for a new challenge after graduating this year.

Hubbard finished his final year of college football with 42 tackles and seven sacks as part of a Buckeyes defensive line loaded with pro prospects. His athleticism and size (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) led many to project him as a speed pass-rusher or hybrid linebacker for a 3-4 defense at the next level.

Hubbard is the second Ohio State player to announce his intentions to leave school with eligibility remaining. Cornerback Denzel Ward made his intentions known when he skipped Friday night's bowl game to avoid injuries before entering the draft.

At least a half dozen Buckeye underclassmen are weighing the pros and cons of declaring early for the draft this month. Six players from last year's team declared early. The deadline for them to decide is Jan. 15.