Ohio State NFL early entry exodus continues

Ohio State fans knew they were losing at least three players early to the NFL by the time Fiesta Bowl postgame interviews were wrapped up Friday.

By noon Sunday, two more Buckeyes were headed to the league as Darron Lee and Tyvis Powell declared their intentions.

Lee went first, offering his news Saturday night.

Powell followed Sunday morning.

Both of the latest Buckeyes to leave were initially three-star recruits from Ohio who redshirted and worked their way into being very productive college players and starters for the 2014 national champions.

Powell ended up third on the 2015 team with 71 tackles. He also had three interceptions.

Lee was fourth with 66 tackles, including 11 for loss and 4.5 sacks. He had an interception and forced two fumbles.

Three juniors previously declared for the draft: defensive end Joey Bosa, running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Cardale Jones.

Others who could be considering a jump early include cornerback Eli Apple, who mentioned two more (Mike Thomas and Vonn Bell) in a tweet following Powell's announcement.

Bell, an All-American safety, said in December he felt he had "done it all" all in his three years since signing with the Buckeyes as a five-star prospect.

Although it might not be done growing, Ohio State's 2016 draft early entry class is already the largest in school history.

The most Buckeyes to previously leave early in one year was three. That happened in 1995 (Korey Stringer, Craig Powell, Lorenzo Styles) and 2006 (Donte Whitner, Santonio Holmes and Ashton Youboty).

No Ohio State players entered the draft early last year, and only two have done so since Urban Meyer became the coach of the Buckeyes: Johnathan Hankins in 2013 and Bradley Roby a year later.