Ginn Jr. has ankle sprain, still mulling NFL draft

Updated: January 11, 2007, 5:13 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr., injured celebrating after he returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown in the Tostitos BCS Championship Game, sprained his left foot and will have to wear a walking boot for a few weeks, his father, Ted Ginn Sr., said Thursday.

Good-bye, Buckeyes?
Ted Ginn Jr.
Ginn
Louisiana State quarterback JaMarcus Russell and Southern Cal wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett are two juniors who have announced their intentions to enter the NFL draft April 28-29 in New York City. Will Ohio State's Ted Ginn Jr. follow them? He'll have to decide soon -- the deadline for underclassmen to declare is Jan. 15. Early entries

Ginn Jr. had an MRI and X-rays Wednesday at the Cleveland Clinic where a doctor determined he had a middle foot sprain.

"We were thankful for that. It's just a sprain," said Ginn's father, head football coach at Glenville High School in Cleveland.

Ginn Jr., resting at home, has not yet declared whether he'll return to Ohio State for his senior year or enter the NFL draft, where he's expected to be a first-round pick because of his dazzling speed. Juniors must decide by Monday.

"We haven't made that decision," Ginn Sr. said. "But I don't think [the injury] affects anything."

He said the injury won't slow his son down long term but acknowledged that it will be tough for him to show off his talent to scouts before the NFL draft in late April.

"He can't do any workouts. For a sprinter that's bad," Ginn Sr. said.

Ginn Jr. gave Ohio State the lead just 16 seconds into Monday night's game, returning the opening kickoff 93 yards. A frenzied celebration ensued and Ginn's foot got twisted underneath a teammate.

Ohio State's offense struggled in his absence and the Buckeyes were beaten 41-14 by Florida.

It was the second career kickoff return touchdown for Ginn, a former high school track star. He has returned six punts for touchdowns in his career and was the Buckeyes' leading receiver in 2006 with 59 catches for 781 yards and nine touchdowns.

Ginn is one of four juniors who asked an NFL committee for an evaluation of his draft status. Offensive tackle Kirk Barton said he would return for his senior season, while wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez announced Thursday he will give up his final year of eligibility to enter the draft. Tailback Antonio Pittman will reveal his decision Monday at his high school in Akron.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE