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Why is this news?: Taylor Decker to return for senior season, Adolphus Washington coming back as well?

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Taylor Decker has announced he will be returning to Ohio State for his senior season.
Taylor Decker has announced he will be returning to Ohio State for his senior season.
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Ohio State received some pleasant news on Tuesday when junior offensive tackle Taylor Decker addressed the media on whether or not he would be returning to the Buckeyes for his senior season. Decker has the option to enter the 2015 NFL draft, but has instead decided that he would like to return next season to help anchor what should be a loaded and experienced offensive line at Ohio State.

The Buckeyes struggled in the early part of the season, but as each game progressed, the unit grew more experienced and the offense began to flourish. With Decker leading the way as one of the only returning starters from last season on the offensive line, the younger players were able to follow his lead and helped propel Ohio State into the College Football Playoffs and now the national championship.

"So I kind of snuck away to look it up and see what he said. Obviously I was very excited, but I really can't speak on it right now. More than likely I'm going to come back."

- Adolphus Washington, via Austin Ward, ESPN

Adolphus Washington has been a mainstay on the defensive line for the past three years, at first rotating in and out during games until he fully took on one of the starting defensive tackle spots. With his solid play, it's not surprising that Washington is getting some looks from the NFL ranks, but he was surprised to see that Mel Kiper had Washington going as a first or second rounder in the upcoming draft.

Despite his excitement, Washington said he plans on coming back for his senior season as well. Still, the junior defensive tackle wanted to emphasize that his focus remains on Ohio State and the upcoming game against Oregon in the national championship. After that, Washington can decide for sure about what he wants to do. If he decides to come back, he'll be paired with a new defensive tackle partner, as Michael Bennett plays in his final game as a Buckeye, but will help keep the Buckeyes' defensive line a fearsome foe for opposing teams alongside Joey Bosa.

Ohio State tight end Jeff Heuerman and H-back Dontre Wilson have been listed as probable heading into the national championship game against Oregon, according to coach Meyer. Heuerman started against Alabama but was held off the field after an early play where a Crimson Tide defender stepped on his right ankle. Nick Vannett is Heuerman's backup and played well in the Sugar Bowl in place of the senior tight end.

Wilson, meanwhile, might make his first return to action since his injury against Michigan State in the middle of the season. Wilson played through the rest of that game with a broken foot, but missed the remaining regular season games, including the Big Ten championship game and the semifinal game against Alabama last Thursday. The dynamic playmaker was a possiblity to play in the game against the Tide, but the coaching staff felt it was better to get him closer to feeling 100 percent healthy, which he might not be too far off from at this stage.

"I don't think power will ever go out of fashion in football. Not at the highest level. There'll be a lot of statistics made without it, but there won't be too many championships made without it."

- Jim Tressel, via Bill Livingston, Northeast Ohio Media Group

Former Ohio State head coach Jim Tressel shared his thoughts on the Buckeyes taking on Oregon in the national championship game. Tressel, after all, has some experience when it comes to the subject of trying to slow the Ducks' high-powered offense down when his 2009-10 team took down Oregon in the Rose Bowl 26-17. The Buckeyes used the arm and legs of Terrelle Pryor to play keep away from Oregon and it worked to near perfection.

Tressel reminisced and sounded like his old Ohio State self again when he talked about the keys to beating Oregon. A strong or power running game, not turning the ball over, and excellent special teams play will be the biggest factors next Monday when the Buckeyes try to upset the second-ranked team in the country. I'm sure coach Meyer has the same ideas and strategies in his head, as he's spent plenty of time studying the way Oregon plays.

"I have no clue. I think I'm just naturally a calm person. I never get too excited or too down. I never started pressing when we were down two scores."

- Cardale Jones, via Brian Bennett, ESPN

Two starts, two victories, a Big Ten championship, and a College Football Playoff victory over Alabama to advance to the national championship is all Cardale Jones has done at Ohio State. No big deal, right? The redshirt sophomore quarterback has a flawless record as the Buckeyes' starter and has done it in some of the most important games in his career. Up until now, Jones has merely been a third-string quarterback that sat behind two Heisman candidates in Braxton Miller and J.T. Barrett. With the injury bug hitting Ohio State hard, Jones was forced into action and came up clutch for the Buckeyes at the right time.

Jones has stayed ready for the past two seasons and will be ready to face his next challenge, coming in the national championship game. His play has been cool and collected, never making too many risky play and making smart passes or throwing it away when something isn't there. The quarterbacks before him have helped him learn and the coaching staff has had great confidence in his abilities. He looks every bit the part of a starting quarterback and now gets to live out a dream scenario for the Buckeyes.

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