January 7, 2010

Chekwa, Homan discuss decisions

COLUMBUS - For the Ohio State football team, the 2010 has been the year circled on the calendar as the season the Buckeyes will have a major shot at the national title.

The schedule seems to line up great for the Buckeyes next season and the vast majority of the team is returning on both offense and defense, so why not?

When Ohio State defenders Ross Homan, Chimdi Chekwa, and Cameron Heyward all announced within the last few days that they were coming back to Columbus for their senior seasons, the future looks that much brighter for the Buckeyes.

"I wanted to come back for another year and enjoy my senior year here and do all the things the seniors do here and just be a leader on this football team," Chekwa said Thursday.

Though Chekwa and Homan didn't carry the same weight as a guy like Thad Gibson - who will leave early for the NFL - in terms of potential value in the draft, both players gave serious thought to skipping their final years in Columbus and pursuing a professional career in the next level.

Both Chekwa and Homan received projections in the NFL Draft after filing paperwork after the season in order to get a better idea of where things stood with their value, and the players actually got some good feedback.

Homan, who is entering his fifth year at Ohio State after taking a medical redshirt his sophomore season because he missed the majority of the year with turf toe, said the projections of his pick were somewhere in the third round.

Despite the fact that the projection was high for Homan, he did maintain that he was a solid lean to come back to Ohio State the entire time.

"I kind of contemplated a move, but it is more the whole time coming back was a big thing for me for my senior season," Homan said. "There was a decision and after thinking about it and all that, I made the right move.

"It can go either way," Homan added about his draft projections. "Sometimes guys get that back and fall to the seventh round and sometimes they go higher, so you cant really rely on it."

Chekwa, meanwhile, will enter his fifth season in Columbus after getting a "mid-round" projection and didn't shed any light on the specifics in terms of which round it could be. Chekwa was a redshirt his freshman year, leaving the next four years available for action in the defensive backfield.

"There was a point where I was kind of 50-50," Chekwa said. "I don't know if I was actually leaning or not. I wanted to hold off on leaning until I was absolutely sure."

Chekwa spoke with former defensive back Donald Washington, who was someone who opted to leave early for the NFL.

"I talked to Donald (Washington) throughout the season," Chekwa said. "He asked me what was I thinking and I told him how I felt at the time. He didn't give me any advice, just told me what I would get if I came out."

Following the Rose Bowl victory the night of New Year's Day, Homan said he gave some serious thought about the reality that it could have been his final game with the Buckeyes.

"When everything is said and done, you get home and you sit down in your bedroom and think things over," Homan said. "One decision that you make can be life changing and you run everything through your head. I thought about that. (I thought) that this could be the last time with my teammates, wearing this jersey, playing on the field as an Ohio State Buckeye. You always think about that after the game."

Heyward was unable to make it to the interview session at the Woody Hayes Center on Thursday, but Homan and Chekwa realized that with the three of them returning next year, Ohio State could indeed be in for a big season.

"Next year's goal is to win the Big Ten again and national championship," Homan said. "The guys surrounded by the coaches are so competitive and we are all looking to get better."

Ari Wasserman is a staff writer for BuckeyeGrove.com. He can be reached at Ari@BuckeyeGrove.com.


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