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Ohio State’s Chris Olave declares for 2022 NFL Draft

The Buckeyes star is off to the NFL, and will skip the Rose Bowl against Utah.

Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Chris Olave celebrates a catch during the fourth quarter of the NCAA football game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021.  Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

The chances of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the Rose Bowl took a hit overnight as star wide receiver Chris Olave opted out of the Grandaddy Of Them All to begin preparing for the 2022 NFL Draft.

In 38 career games for the Buckeyes, Olave had 175 receptions for 2702 and 35 touchdowns. In 2021 he had 65 catches for 936 yards and 13 scores, and will be a huge loss heading into the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.

While he was eligible to return to school, there was no chance we’d see Olave in scarlet and gray again in 2022. The projected first round pick is an ideal combination of speed, route-running, and finesse that should have scouts eager to put him high on their boards. With three Big Ten championships and plenty of College Football Playoff experience showing he can do it on the biggest stage, there’s really nothing left for him to prove in college.

A big combine might see Olave as high as a Top 5 pick in the NFL Draft.