COLUMBUS, Ohio – Defensive lineman Thaddeus Gibson announced this afternoon that he will enter his name into the 2010 National Football League draft.

A statement from Gibson:

“I would like to thank Coach Tressel, Coach Fickell, Coach Heacock, Shelly Poe, and the entire Ohio State football staff, as well as my mother, brother and of course God, for helping me to have the opportunity to enter the draft, and for the support from my teammates, alumni, and Ohio State fans across the nation.”

Gibson said he has “grown a lot from his experience at Ohio State,” crediting the January 1 Rose Bowl win over Oregon as one of his most memorable Ohio State experiences.

“I am not leaving the Buckeye family. I wish the team the very best in the upcoming years and I thank all my teammates for all their support. I will keep in touch with my Buckeye family and I love them all. I will always bleed Scarlet and Gray.”

Gibson, a product of Euclid High School in Euclid, Ohio, recorded 82 tackles during his three-year career. The all-Big Ten selection led the Rose Bowl champion Buckeyes with 13 TFL this season, along with four sacks, two fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles and an interception; for his career, he totaled 25 TFL and 10 sacks. He was named Big Ten player of the week versus Minnesota, when he had three sacks (one short of the Ohio State single game record) and recovered a Gopher fumble. Gibson made 23 career starts for Ohio State. He is scheduled to graduate in June with a bachelor’s degree in African-American studies.