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Ohio State Buckeyes DL Mike Hall Jr. Declares For NFL Draft

Mike Hall Jr. is off to the next level of his career following the Cotton Bowl.

Mike Hall Jr. is headed to the pros.

The Ohio State defensive lineman announced Saturday he'd be forgoing his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the draft. Hall was one of several draft-eligible players who suited up for Friday's 14-3 loss against No. 9 Missouri in the Cotton Bowl Classic.

“It's time to start the next chapter of my life and make the one dream that never died come true," Hall wrote in a graphic shared on X, formerly known as Twitter.

A redshirt sophomore, Hall finished with 24 tackles and 1.5 sacks as a third-team All-Big Ten selection this fall. Last season, the Streetsboro, Ohio, native led the Buckeyes in sacks with 4.5 stops.

The Buckeyes figured Hall could enter the draft after mixed results this past fall. Defensive linemen's draft status often fluctuates, meaning players will teeter on the line of returning to better their stock or heading to the pros and making the most of the situation.

In his final game with the Buckeyes, Hall registered three tackles and two pressures.

Hall's announcement is the first of several underclassmen who could declare in the coming days. Receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. didn't suit up despite traveling with the team to Arlington and is expected to enter the draft as a consensus top-10 pick.

Running back TreVeyon Henderson, receiver Emeka Egbuka, offensive lineman Donovan Jackson and defensive linemen Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau are all expected to decide within the next several weeks. Cornerback Denzel Burke told reporters before the Cotton Bowl he would announce his decision on Jan. 10.

Ty Hamilton, a senior, could return for another year thanks to the COVID-19 eligibility waiver. Other returning defensive tackles, including Hero Kanu and Kayden McDonald, could expand their roles heading into 2024 if the Buckeyes don't target a proven name in the transfer portal.

Hall is the second player to declare for the draft, joining running back Myian Williams. He is expected to be a mid-round pick that could blossom into an early Day 2 pick with a promising performance at the NFL Combine.