Name: Chris “Beanie” Wells
Hometown: Akron, Ohio
High School: Garfield
Position: Running Back
Year: Junior
Last season: Named team MVP, led the team in rushing with 1,609 yards and 15 touchdowns
This season: Starting tailback and Heisman Trophy candidate

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The inevitable junior season. It’s the year in many collegiate football players’ lives to make that one decision that will affect their entire future.

Following the 2007 season, a total of 53 athletes made that life-changing decision to leave college a year early and declare for the National Football League draft. However, for one member of the Ohio State football team, the decision that looms in the future isn’t a hard one to make.

“In order for me to be the best running back I can be, I have to stay here for four years,” Chris Wells said. “It is not going to be my last year at Ohio State.”

All the questions and assumptions of the future are mainly due to Wells’ memorable sophomore season. The soon-to-be junior averaged 123.8 yards per game to lead the team in rushing and scored a team-high 15 touchdowns, including two unforgettable scores against rival Michigan in Ann Arbor.

But along with the buzz of a possible NFL declaration, even more questions are asked of potential Heisman candidacy. Being among the nation’s top running backs, this isn’t something that is easy to avoid. Still, last season’s team Most Valuable Player humbly looks to the presumptions as yet another incentive to work hard for the good of the group.

“To be even mentioned next to the Heisman trophy is a great feeling,” said Wells. “I look at it as a blessing. It is a motivator for me to do even better for the team.”

Now that spring practice is in full swing and the highly-anticipated spring game is in site, Wells knows what needs to be done for the team: recover.

“I’m feeling alright,” he said. “I had to have surgery on my wrist and now I’m putting a lot of focus on rehab on it and my ankle.”

With a resume that is continually being dressed to impress, speculation of his future is and will always be a constant. However, Wells remains firmly focused on the season ahead and the goals of the team.

“Playing football at Ohio State is the kind of experience that I will never get again,” Wells said. “I want to do what is best for the team. We want to win a national championship and I will do what is needed to help my team win.”

~ Kendra Lee,