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COLUMBUS, Ohio Two-time Ohio State MVP Chris “Beanie” Wells is entering his name into the 2009 National Football League draft, he announced this afternoon.

A statement from Wells:
“This has been a difficult decision, but in the best interest of my family, I have decided to enter my name into the 2009 National Football League draft.

“I want to thank my teammates, my coaches, my teachers and the academic advisors for all they have done, and I definitely want to thank the Buckeye fans for all their support. Ohio State has become like a family to me, and it will always be that way.

“There are a lot of things I know I will miss: just being in the locker room, spending time with my teammates, playing in the Michigan game, just all the aspects of being at Ohio State that make it such a special place. But in the best interest of my family, it’s time to move on and take a chance at fulfilling my lifetime dream of playing in the NFL.

“I will always appreciate everything Ohio State has done in helping me grow up and become a man, and I will always be a Buckeye.”

In three seasons, Wells rushed for 3,382 yards, fourth best in Ohio State history. Voted the Buckeyes’ MVP in 2007 and 2008, the Akron native had 16 career games of 100 yards or more and scored 30 career touchdowns. He set the Ohio State-Michigan game rushing record with 222 yards in 2007.

“Ohio State football will miss Beanie’s big runs, but we will also miss his big smile,” says OSU head coach Jim Tressel. “He has been a tremendous teammate and one of the all-time great performers in the greatest rivalry in college football. He will always be an ambassador for Ohio State and all of us wish him well.”

The National Football League draft will be held April 25-26, 2009, in New York City. January 15 is the deadline for players to declare their early entry into the draft.