Buckeyes standouts Ginn, Pittman going pro
ESPN.com news services
Ohio State wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. and tailback Antonio Pittman will skip their senior seasons to take their talents to the NFL.
"I am excited to announce that I am making myself eligible for the National Football League draft," Ginn said in a statement to ESPN's Robert Smith.
"I thank Coach Tressel and all those involved within The Ohio State University football program for creating such a terrific environment for me to succeed both athletically and academically."
Ginn was part of a Buckeye team that went 12-1 in 2006 but lost 41-14 in the BCS championship game to Florida. Ginn returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown but injured his foot on the play and did not return to the game.
Ginn caught 59 passes for 781 yards and nine touchdowns in 2006.
Ginn was USA Today's national high school defensive player of the year in 2003, but was switched to offense soon after head coach Jim Tressel saw his dazzling speed during early season workouts.
He returned four punts for touchdowns to set school and Big Ten season records during his freshman year. He scored on one punt return each of the next two years to set the Ohio State and conference career marks with six scores.
Ginn had also caught a pass in 31 consecutive games before his title-game injury ended that string.
Pittman rushed for 1,233 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2006 for the Buckeyes.
"This is a lifelong dream," Pittman said. "I feel I'm ready to make the jump. I was pleased that the NFL said I am a first-day pick. With an excellent combine I think I could be a first-round pick."
He was one of only five Ohio State backs to top 1,000 yards rushing in consecutive seasons, joining Archie Griffin (1973-75), Tim Spencer (1981-82), Keith Byars (1983-84) and Eddie George (1994-95).
"We had a great year -- one loss don't take away from a great year," Pittman said. "This is a decision that's going to affect my family, not just my family here, but my family at Ohio State."
Robert Smith is a college football analyst for ESPN. Information from The Associated Press and ESPN's Joe Schad was used in this report.
The year's upcoming draft and the college game can be discussed here.
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