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Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave among Ohio State players opting out of Rose Bowl

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Several of Ohio State's best players are moving on to the next level.

OSU head coach Ryan Day told reporters Monday that receivers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave, offensive tackle Nicholas Petit-Frere and defensive lineman Haskell Garrett are declaring for the 2022 NFL draft and will not play in the Rose Bowl against Utah on New Year’s Day.

Wilson and Olave have been stars alongside one another over the past three seasons. Wilson combined for 73 receptions, 1,155 yards and 11 touchdowns over his first two seasons before taking his game to another level this year. As a junior, the 6-foot, 188-pound Wilson caught 70 passes for 1,058 yards and 12 touchdowns, combining with Olave and Jaxon Smith-Njigba to form arguably the best receiver trio in the country.

Wilson is expected to be a first-round draft pick. Olave could be right there with him. Olave, a senior, went for 65 catches for 936 yards and 13 TDs this season. Over his four years in Columbus, Olave combined for 176 receptions for 2,711 yards and 35 touchdowns.

Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson, right, celebrates his touchdown against Michigan State with teammate Chris Olave during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
Ohio State receiver Garrett Wilson, right, celebrates his touchdown against Michigan State with teammate Chris Olave during the first half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)

Smith-Njigba, who led the Buckeyes with 80 catches and 1,259 yards, is in his second season at OSU and is not yet draft eligible.

Smith-Njigba will move into an even more prominent role next year for the Buckeyes, who also return Julian Fleming, Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, among others. Fleming and Egbuka were both rated as five-star Rivals recruits. Harrison was a four-star recruit.

C.J. Stroud will also be back for his second season as OSU's starting quarterback in 2022. Stroud was a Heisman finalist this season.

Petit-Frere, Garrett also opt out

Petit-Frere arrived at OSU as a five-star recruit in 2018 and ended up spending two seasons as a starting tackle — one on the right side and another on the left.

After a few years as a backup, Garrett emerged as one of the Big Ten's best defensive tackles over the past two seasons. The fifth-year senior combined for 42 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks in 2020 and 2021.

The 10-2 Buckeyes will take on the Utes on Saturday. OSU missed out on the College Football Playoff after losing to rival Michigan in the regular-season finale. That loss cost OSU a shot at the Big Ten title and a CFP berth.

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