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Ohio State star CB Okudah to enter NFL draft
2:34 PM ET
  • Andrea AdelsonESPN Senior Writer

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    • ACC reporter.
    • Joined ESPN.com in 2010.
    • Graduate of the University of Florida.

Ohio State All-American cornerback Jeff Okudah declared for the NFL draft on Wednesday.

Okudah is ranked as the No. 5 overall player on Mel Kiper’s latest Big Board and is his No. 1 cornerback.

In his announcement on Twitter, Okudah wrote, “As I embark on the next part of my journey, I leave feeling like there was still more to be accomplished by this team. However, I also leave knowing that the competitive excellence that makes Ohio State the best university in the country has been in place long before I arrived and will continue long after I leave.”

Free Jefe. Jeremiah 29:11. pic.twitter.com/i9DSjUmrPa

— Jeff Okudah (@jokudah) January 1, 2020

He also wrote a letter to his late mother on The Players’ Tribune, describing how Ohio State helped him through her death, shortly after he enrolled as a freshman in 2017. He also credits former coach Urban Meyer, current coach Ryan Day and former defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley among many others for his development.

Okudah emerged as one of the best cornerbacks in the country, not only earning unanimous All-American honors this past season but also making the first-team All-Big Ten Team and becoming a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.

He played perhaps his best game of the season against Clemson in the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Playstation Fiesta Bowl, limiting Clemson’s explosive passing game and high-profile receivers in the 29-23 loss.

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