Ohio State is losing another key piece from its secondary, as star cornerback Marshon Lattimore has declared for the 2017 NFL draft.
Lattimore announced his decision to turn pro via UNINTERRUPTED:
Marshon Lattimore (@shonrp2) announces his decision to enter the 2017 @NFL Draft. #GoBucks https://t.co/mJ9H75hKaw2017-1-11 18:00:56
Lattimore's decision to forgo his last two years of eligibility is hardly a surprise. The Buckeyes cornerback had four interceptions and one tackle for loss in 13 games during the 2016 season.
In addition to Lattimore's performance on the field for Ohio State, he's regarded as one of the top prospects in this year's class. ESPN.com's Todd McShay has him ranked as the No. 7 overall player in his latest top 32 released on Monday:
A first-year starter, Lattimore is more naturally gifted than former Ohio State CB Eli Apple, who went No. 10 overall to the Giants in the 2016 draft. At 6-foot, 192 pounds, Lattimore has good length and really fluid movement skills. He took full advantage of his spike in playing time, with four interceptions and nine pass breakups this season.
Ohio State is having an incredible run of talent come through Columbus. Last year's draft class saw Apple, Ezekiel Elliott, Joey Bosa, Taylor Decker and Darron Lee all selected in the first round.
This figures to be another strong year for the Buckeyes in the draft. Lattimore has top-10 potential, and safety Malik Hooker is going to be taken in the first round. Head coach Urban Meyer is also losing wide receiver Noah Brown, cornerback Gareon Conley, linebacker Raekwon McMillan and running back Curtis Samuel.
Lattimore looks like the standout prospect among that dynamic group. He emerged as a star in his only year as a full-time starter and plays an integral position with the ability to attack the ball. He's getting an early start on a bright future in the NFL.