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Jalin Marshall becomes latest Ohio State starter to declare for NFL draft

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OSU redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall (7) runs with the ball during a game against Indiana on Oct. 3 in Bloomington, Indiana. OSU won, 34-27. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor

OSU redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall (7) runs with the ball during a game against Indiana on Oct. 3 in Bloomington, Indiana. OSU won, 34-27. Credit: Samantha Hollingshead | Photo Editor

After losing three underclassmen defensive starters in as many days since the Fiesta Bowl, Ohio State redshirt sophomore H-back Jalin Marshall became the first offensive starter to announce his decision to go pro early after the game on Monday.

“After much thought, prayer and discussion with my family and coaches,” Marshall wrote in a message posted to Twitter, “I officially announce that I have decided to forgo my last two years of eligibility to enter the NFL draft.”

Marshall was used primarily as a punt returner in his redshirt freshman season, but became more involved in the offense as the season wore on, finishing with 38 catches for 499 yards and six touchdowns, including a four-touchdown performance against Indiana. In that breakout game, he caught five passes for 95 yards and three touchdowns and had a 54-yard punt return touchdown, all in the second half.

He started the final 12 games in 2015 following a suspension for the opener, and finished second on the team in receptions as OSU’s true No. 2 receiver.

Marshall pulled in 36 catches for 477 yards and five touchdowns in his final season wearing scarlet and gray, while returning 28 punts for 379 yards. He also had a 36-yard kick return in the Fiesta Bowl, his only one of the season.

“I will forever be grateful to my teammates and Buckeye Nation for making my time as a Buckeye so memorable,” Marshall wrote. “I will always be a Buckeye at heart, as this was my dream, and I will work hard to positively represent Buckeye Nation and my hometown wherever I go.”

The former quarterback at Middletown High School is the seventh OSU underclassman to leave early for the draft, joining Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Cardale Jones, Darron Lee, Tyvis Powell and Eli Apple.

Only two underclassmen who are expected to make a decision regarding the draft are yet to make it: safety Vonn Bell and receiver Michael Thomas.

Should Thomas opt to leave as well — which is expected — OSU will lose its top four receivers in terms of yards, with Elliott and redshirt senior H-back Braxton Miller already saying goodbye.

“I will never forget this experience,” Marshall wrote. “I am a Buckeye for life!”

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