Nordonia graduate and current Ohio State junior star cornerback Denzel Ward made a decision on Friday night prior to the Cotton Bowl game against USC. He announced (see his statement) that he was going to not play in the game against USC, as well as not return for his senior year at Ohio State. These decisions were based on the opportunity to be eligible for this years NFL draft. Most draft experts project Ward as a definite first-round selection, thus making him an instant millionaire when he signs his NFL contract. It makes sense for the young man to not participate in another game, or season of college ball, when he could risk injury on any play that would endanger his NFL earning potential. The NFL is the dream of any college player, and when there are millions of dollars on the line to leave college early, who can blame them. As many college players do that leave early, they can always return for the diploma. The window of opportunity for college players in the NFL can close as fast as it opens. They are one knee injury or concussion away from being a former player. All Nordonia fans saw the potential Ward has when he blazed the playing field for Nordonia years ago. He will join fellow Nordonia alumni Rob Sims, Jordan Mabin, Jason Trusnik and Kevin Kowalski as Nordonia graduates that played in the NFL. That’s a stellar group of athletes we can be proud of. Before any of us judge Ward on his decision to not play and bypass his senior year, put yourself, or your son in his shoes. Guaranteed millions now, or risk injury and play another year. Ward’s stock has never been higher. Some have him rated as one of the top three cornerbacks in college. He has done all he can do for Ohio State, with nothing left to prove. Maybe with one of the Browns high draft picks, they could select the hometown hero. That’s probably asking for much from the Browns!

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