Kendall Sheffield hasn't formally announced that he will declare for the NFL draft, but it appears his college career has come to an end.
According to an Instagram post by EXOS Sports, where Ohio State wide receiver Johnnie Dixon and offensive lineman Michael Jordan will also be training, Sheffield will be participating in the training facility's NFL Combine training program alongside other NFL draft hopefuls, indicating that he has made the decision to go pro.
Neither Sheffield – who does not have a Twitter account, and was famously media-averse during his two seasons with the Buckeyes – nor Ohio State has confirmed his entry into the NFL draft, but Monday was the final day for draft prospects to declare, and Sheffield was long considered a candidate to go pro after this season.
Sheffield was in the Buckeyes' three-man cornerback rotation for each of the past two seasons, starting all 14 games this past season, after Urban Meyer and Kerry Coombs landed the junior college transfer. He had 35 total tackles, two interceptions and eight pass breakups this past season.
With Sheffield's departure for the NFL, Jeffrey Okudah is the leading candidate to start opposite Damon Arnette at cornerback, while Shaun Wade is also likely in line for increased playing time. Sevyn Banks, Marcus Williamson and Tyreke Johnson could also be candidates to earn playing time at cornerback.
Sheffield is ranked as the seventh-best cornerback in the 2019 NFL draft class by Bleacher Report's Matt Miller, and projects to be selected in the middle rounds of the draft – though he could bolster his draft stock at the NFL Scouting Combine, where Ohio State's school record holder in the 60-meter dash will likely run one of the fastest times in the 40-yard dash.
Sheffield is one of six Ohio State players to declare for this year's draft with remaining eligibility, joining quarterback Dwayne Haskins, running back Mike Weber, offensive lineman Michael Jordan and defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Dre'Mont Jones. They join a class of draft prospects that also includes several Ohio State seniors, including wide receivers Parris Campbell, Terry McLaurin and Johnnie Dixon and offensive tackle Isaiah Prince.
Several other draft-eligible members of Ohio State's defense, though, chose to return for their senior seasons – including Arnette, safety Jordan Fuller and linebacker Malik Harrison – giving the Buckeyes a far more experienced defense entering 2019 than they had entering last season.