Ohio State football center Luke Wypler announces he's leaving for NFL

Bill Rabinowitz
The Columbus Dispatch

Two-year Ohio State starting center Luke Wypler announced he will enter the NFL draft.

Wypler is projected as a possible third-round draft pick, though mock drafts vary considerably on him.

"Football means the world to me," Wypler wrote on his announcement on Twitter. "It has been my passion from the moment I first put on pads at the age of seven. Growing up, I worked hard to give myself the opportunity to play college football at the highest level. To compete as a Buckeye at The Ohio State University − the best university in the country − has been the privilege of a lifetime."

Wypler thanked his high school coaches in New Jersey and OSU coaches, teammates and support staff.

"Lastly, Mom and Dad, my entire family − thank you. Thank you for always supporting and believing in me.

"Now it is time for the next step. I am officially declaring for the 2023 NFL draft."

Wypler became a surprise starter at the start of last season when projected center Harry Miller was injured before the opener at Minnesota. Miller later medically retired because of mental-health issues.

Ohio State football:Center Luke Wypler seizes football like he does life

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Wypler helped Ohio State rank second nationally in scoring this season, averaging 44.2 points per game. He no doubt improved his draft stock by playing well against Georgia's star defensive tackle Jalen Carter in Ohio State's College Football Playoff semifinal loss. Carter was not a major factor in the Bulldogs' win thanks to the interior blocking of Wypler and guards Matt Jones and Donovan Jackson.

Center Luke Wypleris projected as a possible third-round draft pick.

Wypler, a Montvale, New Jersey, native, has been an OSU Scholar-Athlete (minimum 3.0 grade point average) all three years on campus.

“I love him to death,” quarterback C.J. Stroud said before the start of last season. “He's my brother for life. He’s super smart, the smartest O-lineman I've ever met in my life.”

Wypler is one of at least three Ohio State linemen who’ll leave for the draft. Left tackle Paris Johnson Jr., who announced earlier Tuesday that he'll enter the NFL draft, is considered a lock to be a first-rounder. Right tackle Dawand Jones will participate in the Senior Bowl.

Jackson, who'll be a junior in 2023, and Matt Jones, a guard who was a fifth-year senior in 2022, are returning. Jones could slide from right guard to center.

Tight end Cade Stover announced Monday that he would stay at Ohio State for the 2023 season. Running back Miyan Williams said last week he would also return.

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