Taylor Decker wanted to keep the conversation about Ohio State's national championship game against Oregon on Monday, but when the subject came up of whether he would leave for the NFL after the season, he made an exception.

Taylor Decker wanted to keep the conversation about Ohio State's national championship game against Oregon on Monday, but when the subject came up of whether he would leave for the NFL after the season, he made an exception.

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"I wasn't really wanting to get into that prior to this game, but I'm coming back for my senior year," said the left tackle, who was the lone returning starter on the offensive line from a year ago. "I just personally know how much I wanted to play here, and this was my first year at a new position" after switching from right tackle.

Decker had been projected as a late second-round pick.

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"I think another year, barring something drastic happening, it can only benefit me. My draft stock can only go up."

Ohio State had shown no interest in Decker, from Vandalia, Ohio, until Urban Meyer was hired in late 2011 and brought in Ed Warinner as offensive line coach. Warinner came from Notre Dame, where Decker was a commitment.

"It was something I really wanted," to play at Ohio State, Decker said. "To be given that opportunity, I've done everything I can to be successful in it. And it is a really good feeling, gratifying, when you accomplish something huge like that. I've loved my time here."

Washington defers

Junior defensive tackle Adolphus Washington also was asked whether he had made a decision on his future.

"Nah, not really," Washington said. "I'm just trying to focus on this game right here."

Asked if he expects to be back next year, though, he said, "Yeah."

Injury update

Senior tight end Jeff Heuerman was undergoing treatment on his sprained right ankle during the 15 minutes the media was allowed to watch practice.

Sophomore hybrid back Dontre Wilson was at practice and in uniform, but he was wearing a protective boot on his right foot. He has not played since Nov. 8 at Michigan State after suffering a broken bone in that foot. Despite appearances, his chance might come on Monday.

"Heuerman - what's the word - probable," Meyer said. "And Dontre Wilson is probable now."

Wilson is from DeSoto, Texas, just 24 miles from AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Time off practice

Meyer said he was going to give the Buckeyes a day off from practice this afternoon, though they will still go through meetings.

Heading into the 15th game of the season, which will be 11 days removed from the Sugar Bowl against Alabama, Meyer said, "You just can't go the tempo we went the last three days (in practice). You just can't, or you're going to break them down."

tmay@dispatch.com

@TIM_MAYsports