Decision day looms for suspended Ohio State players

Decision day looms for suspended Ohio State players

Published Jan. 14, 2011 7:15 a.m. ET

Jan. 14, 2011

Whether Ohio State coach Jim Tressel did them a disservice or a favor won't be known for more than another year, and whether he blackmailed them or firmly administered wise counsel is open to debate.

The four OSU offensive starters Tressel made promise to return for their senior seasons lest he deny them a trip to the Sugar Bowl have one last day to rethink their pledges.

Terrelle Pryor, Daniel Herron, DeVier Posey and Mike Adams still could go back on the promises their coach said they made and enter the NFL draft before Saturday's deadline for underclassmen to declare.

It's doubtful any of them will, and it's just as doubtful their decisions are rooted in any code of honor their coach's frontier justice foisted upon them.

The overriding reason the four will stick in Columbus for another year is that none of them were or are guaranteed anything approaching NFL riches.

Had any or all of the four bid adieu to college after playing instrumental roles in the Buckeyes' 31-26 victory in New Orleans, scouts wouldn't have swooned over the players' impending professional careers.

Had they gone out, it's more likely the NFL draft would pass this April without any of them going in the first round. It's also entirely possible none would go in rounds two or three, either.

ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. doesn't list Pryor, Posey, Adams or Herron among his top-five juniors at their respective positions, and none appears on any mock draft of the first round.

They are, to be sure, very good college players, but they are a long way from hearing the beep-beep-beep of a Brinks Truck backing to their door upon declaring for the draft.

Right now, the best long-term earning potential the four possess is that they will someday boast the two most important words on any resum