Ohio State football linebacker Steele Chambers to return, put off 2023 NFL draft

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State linebacker Steele Chambers said Wednesday he will return for a fifth season rather than enter next spring’s NFL draft.

“I’m coming back,” Chambers said. “I’ll be chilling here.”

A redshirt junior who began his career playing running back before switching to the defensive side of the ball last season, said he wants to have more experience at linebacker. His return would give him a third season under his belt at the position, continuing his development.

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“I’ve progressed in my knowledge of the game,” Chambers said, “but there’s a lot more that I need to learn. I feel like I’m pretty premature as far as linebacker savviness.”

While Chambers appeared on both sides of the ball in high school at Blessed Trinity Catholic in the northern suburbs of Atlanta, he has only been dedicated to linebacker for the past 16 months.

The relative recent switch left him leaning toward remaining in school for another season for most of this fall, even as he was among the Buckeyes’ most productive defenders and became an All-Big Ten honorable mention by both the coaches and media.

“I always thought I was going to come back for a fifth year, especially after the position change,” Chambers said. “That’s just always been my first option, and that’s what I’m going to stick with.”

Ohio State football now waiting on Tommy Eichenberg NFL decision

His 69 tackles are the second-most among the Buckeyes, trailing only Tommy Eichenberg, who makes up the other half of their starting linebacker tandem and finished with 112 tackles during the regular season.

Eichenberg, who is also a redshirt junior, remains undecided about his upcoming draft decision.

“I haven’t thought about it yet,” Eichenberg said.

He said his focus has been on the upcoming College Football Playoff semifinal against Georgia on Dec. 31.

The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 16, leaving players with remaining eligibility about a month to settle on a decision.

Redshirt junior safety Ronnie Hickman said last month that he is entering the draft and went through Senior Day festivities as a result, the only underclassmen who has made a public declaration.  

Joey Kaufman covers Ohio State football for The Columbus Dispatch. Contact him at or on Twitter @joeyrkaufman.

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