Ohio State had to manage without running back Trey Sermon in the national championship game, and it'll have to do so next season, too.
The star announced in a tweet Sunday that he has declared for the 2021 NFL draft.
"I am truly excited for the opportunity to pursue my dreams at the next level," he wrote. "I know the best is yet to come for me!"
A graduate transfer this season, Sermon was injured on the opening series of the Buckeyes' loss to Alabama in the championship, though his mother, Natoshia Mitchell, said that the injury "is not serious."
Sermon ended the year with 870 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 116 carries, highlighted by a pair of career performances when it mattered most. He collected 331 yards with two touchdowns on 29 carries when the Buckeyes defeated Northwestern 22-10 in the Big Ten title game, setting a program and conference championship record for single-game rushing yards.
In the College Football Playoff semifinals against Clemson, he helped OSU punch its ticket to the championship by posting 31 carries for 193 yards and a touchdown to lead all rushers, tacking on 61 receiving yards on four receptions.
Prior to joining the Buckeyes, he spent three seasons at Oklahoma, where he won three Big 12 championships and finished with 2,076 rushing yards and 25 total touchdowns. He was the Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year in 2017 and earned All-Big 12 honorable mention as a sophomore.
"He's a starter at the next level," Jim Nagy, executive director of the Senior Bowl and a former NFL scout, told Brad Crawford of 247Sports. "We watched him last spring on film and you're like, 'Wow! How is this guy transferring?' He was an easy eval. I mean, the dude is really, really talented."
For now, Sermon will be training for his NFL future in Florida, his mother said (h/t Ben Pickman of Sports Illustrated).