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Ineligible Ohio State DE Noah Spence indicates he's turning pro

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Jeff Haynes/Associated Press
Defensive end Noah Spence led Ohio State with eight sacks last season.

Shortly after being declared permanently ineligible by the Big Ten Conference, former Ohio State defensive end Noah Spence tweeted that he would turn pro.

Spence (6-foot-3, 252 pounds), a junior, originally was suspended for last season's Orange Bowl and the first two games of this season because he tested positive for ecstasy; his family has said Spence unintentionally took the drug when he was given a drink by people he didn't know at a party. But a few days before he was scheduled to return to play in September, the school suspended Spence indefinitely. The Columbus Dispatch reported that he had failed another drug test.

Spence, who was a consensus top-five player nationally in the 2012 recruiting class, had eight sacks last season, which led the team; he added 14.5 tackles for loss, which was second on the team to linebacker Ryan Shazier, who was the Pittsburgh Steelers' first-round pick earlier this year.

Spence had been listed as one of the nation's top-10 pass rushers by NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks in May. "If he can add a wrinkle or two to his game in the fall, Spence could be one of the most intriguing prospects to watch down the road," Brooks wrote.


» Walk-on Ohio State DT reported missing


Spence's pass-rush skills would make him attractive to NFL teams. His off-field issues, though, obviously are a huge concern.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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