OSU FOOTBALL | NOTEBOOK
Youboty leaving to enter NFL draft
Sunday, January 08, 2006
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
NEAL C . LAURON | DISPATCH
Ashton Youboty, intercepting a pass intended for Northwesternâ€™s Ross Lane, is projected to be a late first- to third-round pick.
Ohio State cornerback Ashton Youboty told The Dispatch by prepared statement yesterday that he is leaving for the NFL.
He became the second Buckeyes junior to make the jump since the win over Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl, joining receiver Santonio Holmes. Donte Whitner could be the third. Even though an OSU spokesman said the safety has told the coaches of his plans, he has yet to make them public.
The Buckeyes could lose all four starters from their defensive backfield, including seniors Nate Salley (safety) and Tyler Everett (cornerback), and nine starters on defense overall.
Though Youboty has been projected anywhere from late first round to third round, he said it was time to leave.
"Because of the fact I can graduate in June and I believe I am ready to play football at the next level, I am choosing to forgo my senior season," Youboty said in his statement. "I would like to thank all of the fans, my teammates and my coaches for a wonderful Ohio State experience."
Coach Jim Tressel said he understood Youbotyâ€™s motivation.
"The one thing that is a reality in this new world of early enrollment is that some of the guys feel more a part of the older class that they are really not in," he said. "In Ashtonâ€™s case, he was only here one quarter less time than (seniors) Nate Salley and A.J. Hawk. I think he feels a little more attached to that group. . . . I just hope he gains the draft status he is capable of gaining."
Youboty, like Whitner, enrolled in January 2003. Tressel did not want to comment on Whitnerâ€™s decision before he made it public.
Ohio State gained a commitment from Robert Rose, one of the nationâ€™s top defensive line prospects, during the U.S. Army All-American game yesterday.
Rose, who is 6 feet 4, 260 pounds and from Cleveland Glenville, also considered Florida and Southern California. Five Glenville players have preceded Rose to Ohio State in recent years, including quarterback Troy Smith and receiver Ted Ginn Jr. And Ginnâ€™s father, who is Glenvilleâ€™s coach, was coach of the winning East team.
"I want to go where family is," said Rose, who has been playing football for just two years but has excelled, in part, because of 4.6-second speed in the 40-yard dash. "I feel right at home at Ohio State."
Rose is the 12 th commitment to the class of 2006.
Running back Chris Wells of Akron Garfield, another Ohio State recruit, was named the gameâ€™s outstanding performer after scoring three touchdowns. Ginn and Texas quarterback Vince Young were previous winners of the award. A 6-2, 230-pounder, Wells will enroll in time for spring practice.
Wells "is the No. 1 back in the country," recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said during NBCâ€™s broadcast. "Heâ€™s sort of like a Maurice Clarett but without the baggage. Heâ€™ll be starting next year."
The Buckeyes lost out on a player when defensive back A.J. Wallace, of Pomfret, Md., picked Penn State over Ohio State and Florida. firstname.lastname@example.org