Ohio State running back Chris "Beanie" Wells declared his intention Thursday to skip his senior season with the intent to enter the NFL Draft.
"This has been a difficult decision, but in the best interest of my family, I have decided to enter my name into the 2009 National Football League draft," Wells said in a statement.
Wells rushed for 1,197 yards and eight touchdowns for the Buckeyes during the 2008 season. He ran the ball 16 times for 106 yards in the team's 24-21 loss to Texas in the Fiesta Bowl Monday. He finished his career ranked No. 4 in school history with 3,382 yards, and had 30 career touchdowns.
"Ohio State football will miss Beanie's big runs, but we will also miss his big smile," Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel said. "He has been a tremendous teammate and one of the all-time great performers in the greatest rivalry in college football. He will always be an ambassador for Ohio State and all of us wish him well."
The deadline for players to declare their early entry into the draft is Jan. 15. The NFL Draft will be held April 25-26 in New York City.
"There are a lot of things I know I will miss -- just being in the locker room, spending time with my teammates, playing in the Michigan game, just all the aspects of being at Ohio State that make it such a special place. But in the best interest of my family, it's time to move on and take a chance at fulfilling my lifetime dream of playing in the NFL," Wells said.
Other players announcing their intention to enter the NFL Draft include Wisconsin running back P.J. Hill, Florida State defensive end Everette Brown, Virginia wide receiver Kevin Ogletree, Auburn defensive back Jerraud Powers, Maryland wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, Iowa running back Shonn Greene, North Carolina wide receiver Hakeem Nicks, and Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford and running back Knowshon Moreno.