Gibson declares for NFL draft

Ohio State defensive end Thaddeus Gibson will forgo his senior season and declare for the NFL draft.

"I am not leaving the Buckeye family," Gibson said in a statement. "I wish the team the very best in the upcoming years and I thank all my teammates for all their support. I will keep in touch with my Buckeye family and I love them all. I will always bleed scarlet and gray."

Gibson met with Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel and co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell on Monday to finalize the decision, a source said.

The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Gibson played some outside linebacker at Ohio State but eventually transitioned to defensive end and came on strong during Big Ten play in 2008. He earned second-team All-Big Ten honors this fall after leading the Buckeyes with 13 tackles for a loss and ranking second in sacks with four. Gibson also had two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Adam Rittenberg covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com. He can be reached at espnritt@gmail.com