Ohio St. LB Jerome Baker skipping senior season to start pro career

Add another Buckeye to the annual list of Ohio State players ready for an early entry to the NFL draft. Junior linebacker Jerome Baker announced Monday he would be skipping his senior season in Columbus to start his pro career.

Baker finished his third season on Ohio State's defense with 72 total tackles, eight tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks. He is considered to be one of the top 10 linebackers in the 2018 draft class.

Baker posted a message to his Twitter account Monday afternoon.

Baker is the third member of the Buckeyes' defense to declare early for the draft this year. Cornerback Denzel Ward and defensive end Sam Hubbard are also leaving school with a year of eligibility remaining. Ohio State had six players with college eligibility enter the NFL draft a year ago. Other players, such as defensive lineman Dre'Mont Jones and a few of the team's wide receivers, could potentially decide to join their teammates in the draft this spring. Redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber already announced he intended to return for "one more year" in Columbus.

Underclassmen have until Jan. 15 to decide if they will enter the draft.