"I have decided to make myself eligible and enter the 2016 NFL Draft," Bell said in a news release by the school. "It has been an honor and a privilege to play at the best university in the country, to play for the best coach in the country, and to help bring the 2014 national championship to the Ohio State University and the best fans in the country."
College underclassmen have until a Jan. 18 deadline to apply for early draft eligibility. The other OSU underclassmen to announce plans to enter the draft include DB Tyvis Powell, WR Michael Thomas, DE Joey Bosa, RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Kalin Marshall, QB Cardale Jones, CB Eli Apple and LB Darron Lee. Senior Ohio State standouts such as OL Taylor Decker, LB Joshua Perry, DL Adolphus Washington and WR Braxton Miller are strong draft prospects as well.
Bell (5-11, 205 pounds) broke up nine passes with two interceptions from his safety position this year and was named both All-Big Ten and an AP All-American. For his career, the junior made nine interceptions in 27 starts and was a key starter in OSU's defense the last two years.