Garrett Wilson has played his final game as a Buckeye.
The junior wide receiver will not play in the Rose Bowl, opting out of the game to avoid the risk of an injury before the 2022 NFL draft, which he is planning to enter.
Its been a special 3 years To Buckeye Nation with love. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/FRKHTwNEwj— Garrett Wilson (@GarrettWilson_V) December 27, 2021
Wilson becomes the first Ohio State player to publicly declare that he will not play in the Rose Bowl, and the first member of the Buckeyes’ junior class to announce he will leave early to pursue an NFL career.
Following Wilson's announcement, Ryan Day announced that Chris Olave, Haskell Garrett and Nicholas Petit-Frere would be opting out of the game, as well.
Wilson, unanimously projected to be a first-round pick in April’s NFL draft, will leave Ohio State as one of the best and most accomplished receivers in Buckeye football history.
The top-rated receiver to sign with Ohio State at the time, Wilson was an immediate contributor to the Buckeye offense as just a true freshman, catching 30 passes for 432 yards and five touchdowns. In his pandemic-shortened second season at Ohio State, Wilson established himself as one of the top receivers in the country, catching 43 passes for 723 yards and six touchdowns in just eight games.
In his third and final season as a Buckeye, Wilson caught 70 passes for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns, becoming just the seventh receiver in Ohio State history with 1,000 receiving yards in a single season. He also had a 51-yard touchdown run in Ohio State’s win over Purdue, in which he also caught 10 passes for 126 yards and three touchdowns to become the first player in Ohio State history with three receiving touchdowns and a rushing touchdown in the same game.
Ohio State is now set to lose two of its star wide receivers after this season as Chris Olave is planning to enter the 2022 NFL draft. The Buckeyes have plenty of talented candidates to replace them, though, as Marvin Harrison Jr., Julian Fleming and Emeka Egbuka will be among those vying to join Jaxon Smith-Njigba in next year’s starting lineup.
Olave has not yet said whether or not he will play in the Rose Bowl, though he is still practicing with the team, as seen in a social media post by Ohio State on Monday.
Back in La La Land @chrisolave_ #GoBucks pic.twitter.com/qVqJZtzZS2— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) December 27, 2021
It’s likely that either Fleming or Harrison will replace Wilson in the starting lineup in Saturday’s game against Utah.