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Football: Gareon Conley declares for NFL draft

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The Buckeyes celebrate as redshirt junior cornerback Gareon Conley (8) intercepts the ball during the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 31. Credit: Alexa Mavrogianis | Photo Editor

Just​ ​one​ ​day​ ​after​ ​Ohio​ ​State​ ​redshirt​ ​sophomore​ ​safety​ ​Malik​ ​Hooker​ ​declared​ ​for​ ​the​ ​2017​ ​NFL 
draft,​ ​Buckeye​ ​fans​ ​received​ ​word​ ​of​ ​another​ ​secondary​ ​player​ ​tossing​ ​his​ ​hat​ ​in​ ​the​ ​mix​ ​for​ ​a 
chance​ ​to​ ​play​ ​in​ ​the​ ​league.​ ​This​ ​time​ ​the​ ​shock​ ​was​ ​minimal,​ ​as​ ​redshirt​ ​junior​ ​cornerback 
Gareon​ ​Conley​ ​will​ ​be​ ​forgoing​ ​his​ ​final​ ​year​ ​of​ ​eligibility. 
 
Conley​ ​took​ ​to​ ​Instagram​ ​with​ ​a​ ​long​ ​post​ ​to​ ​thank​ ​fans​ ​and​ ​the​ ​Silver​ ​Bullets​ ​for​ ​his​ ​four​ ​years​ ​in 
Columbus.​ ​Conley​ ​was​ ​expected​ ​by​ ​many​ ​to​ ​leave​ ​early,​ ​as​ ​his​ ​draft​ ​stock​ ​has​ ​been​ ​steadily 
rising​ ​all​ ​season​ ​long. 
 
“It’s​ ​been​ ​an​ ​honor​ ​to​ ​play​ ​as​ ​a​ ​buckeye​ ​and​ ​a​ ​silver​ ​bullet​ ​and​ ​also​ ​to​ ​be​ ​apart​ ​(sic)​ ​of​ ​the​ ​great 
secondary​ ​this​ ​past​ ​year!”​ ​he​ ​said​ ​in​ ​his​ ​post. 
 
Conley,​ ​who​ ​finished​ ​his​ ​career​ ​with​ ​six​ ​interceptions,​ ​including​ ​one​ ​early​ ​in​ ​OSU’s​ ​31-0​ ​loss​ ​to 
Clemson​ ​in​ ​the​ ​Fiesta​ ​Bowl.​ ​Along​ ​with​ ​his​ ​picks,​ ​he​ ​picked​ ​up​ ​91​ ​tackles,​ ​and​ ​earned​ ​the 
reputation​ ​as​ ​one​ ​of​ ​the​ ​best​ ​secondary​ ​players​ ​in​ ​the​ ​nation. 
 
Matt​ ​Miller​ ​of​ ​Bleacher​ ​Report​ ​has​ ​Conley​ ​ranked​ ​as​ ​his​ ​No.​ ​2​ ​cornerback,​ ​and​ ​his​ ​No.​ ​14​ ​player 
overall.​ ​The​ ​native​ ​of​ ​Massillon,​ ​Ohio,​ ​fits​ ​well​ ​into​ ​any​ ​defense​ ​that​ ​uses​ ​predominately​ ​man 
coverage,​ ​but​ ​Conley​ ​has​ ​the​ ​ability​ ​to​ ​cover​ ​in​ ​zone​ ​as​ ​well. 
 
With​ ​the​ ​loss​ ​of​ ​Hooker​ ​and​ ​now​ ​Conley​ ​to​ ​the​ ​draft,​ ​redshirt​ ​sophomore​ ​cornerback​ ​Marshon 
Lattimore​ ​and​ ​junior​ ​safety​ ​Damon​ ​Webb​ ​will​ ​be​ ​the​ ​projected​ ​returning​ ​two​ ​starters,​ ​although 
Lattimore​ ​has​ ​gained​ ​lots​ ​of​ ​attention​ ​by​ ​NFL​ ​scouts.​ ​Sophomore​ ​cornerback​ ​Denzel​ ​Ward 
figures​ ​to​ ​be​ ​the​ ​starter​ ​opposite​ ​Lattimore​ ​if​ ​the​ ​redshirt​ ​sophomore​ ​stays. 
 
OSU​ ​begins​ ​its​ ​2017​ ​season​ ​against​ ​Indiana​ ​on​ ​Aug.​ ​31​ ​in​ ​Bloomington,​ ​Indiana,​ ​with​ ​at​ ​least​ ​two 
new​ ​starters​ ​on​ ​defense​ ​with​ ​the​ ​latest​ ​declaration.

Mannnnn it's been a wonderful journey from recruiting to playing in the shoe. I feel like the past four years have really expanded and opened my mind and made me grow as a student an athlete and a man! It's been an honor to play as a buckeye and a silver bullet and also to be apart of the great secondary this past year! I wanna thank everyone from family to friends to buckeye nation for all the love and support it's a tremendous blessing to have played for yall. Most importantly I wanna thanks all my team mates who I was in the trenches with and through thick and thin I love y'all boys and y'all my brothas for life once a buckeye always a buckeye! I have decided to declare for the 2017 NFL draft. I wanna thank God cause I didn't earn any of this he blessed me and I took advantage of the blessings and I'm just glorifying him. Thanks again buckeye nation #HowSheGoneEat #BIA #silverbullets #tbc …💯

A photo posted by Ocho💯 (@_gconley8) on

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