Jan. 8, 2001

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State junior cornerback Nate Clements has announced he will forgo his final year of eligibility and make himself eligible for the NFL draft.

The 5-11, 190-pound Clements started all 12 games this year at cover corner and was credited with 68 total tackles, including 60 solo stops. He also had four interceptions and a team high 13 passes broken up. Clements, from Shaker Heights, Ohio, also returned punts and averaged 13.1 yards per runback during the regular season.

A two-year starter, Clements closed out his career with 177 tackles, 24 passes broken up and seven interceptions.

“I love The Ohio State University, however, my dream has always been to play football at the highest level of competition,” Clements said. “Therefore, I am petitioning for special eligibility in this year’s National Football League draft.”

Clements is the second Ohio State underclassman to make himself eligible for the upcoming draft. Defensive tackle Ryan Pickett, a junior from Zephyrhills, Fla., announced last week that he pass up his senior year in favor of the NFL. Pickett, also a two-year starter, finished the current season with 39 tackles, including six tackles for loss. He closes out his career with 109 tackles, including a career-high 48 in 1999. The 6-3, 290-pound Pickett also had 20 career tackles for loss.