Bradley Roby's Return Would Be Huge for Buckeyes Defense in 2013

Austin KempAnalyst IDecember 27, 2012

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 6:  Bradley Roby #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes steps in front of Quincy Enunwa #18 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers to intercept a pass at Ohio Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Columbus, Ohio. Roby returned the interception 40 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes' Bradley Roby might be the best defensive back in college football that you’ve never heard of. 

The 5’11, 190-pound cornerback was a redshirt sophomore in 2012 and was a second-year starter for the Buckeyes. Though he didn’t receive a ton of accolades this past season, the return of Roby in 2013 would be huge for Ohio State.

As spring practice gets closer and closer, there’s a few things we know about the 2013 Buckeyes defense. They’ll be talented, fast and some positions. 

The front seven, especially the D-line, will be hurt the most by graduation and Johnathan Hankins declaring for the NFL draft.

The Bucks could have three returning starters in the secondary if Roby decides to come back for a championship run. Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett are good players, but Roby puts fear into opposing offensive coordinators.

In 2012, Roby was named second-team AP All-American while leading the country with 1.73 passes defended per game and also recording 17 pass breakups in only 11 games. 

Don’t be fooled, Roby will come up and hit you too; he finished third on the team with 63 tackles. He can match up with any receiver in the country, and he has the speed to defend any player in the nation. 

With a 4.31 40-yard dash time, Roby was also used as a kick returner late in the year. "I think his best days are ahead of him, I think he's going to be a great player, but I think he needs more time, more seasoning,” says Ohio State cornerback coach Kerry Coombs (via ESPN). 

Defense isn’t the only place where Roby leaves his mark, though. Special teams his a huge part of his game. 

He added a blocked punt and returned a blocked punt for a touchdown this past season. Each and every time No. 1 steps on the field, it seems to create mismatches no matter what position he’s playing.

A receiver in high school, if Roby does decide to return in 2013, he could find himself playing both ways if Urban Meyer were to allow it. According to The Ozone, Roby said, “One of these days, they’re going to put me on the other side.”  

However, the most important thing a Roby return would bring to the 2013 Buckeyes would be his leadership. If Roby decided to return, he would become a three-year starter and would help lead a young defense early in the year. 

With a championship run in the plans for 2013, Buckeyes fans have to wait patiently to find out if Bradley Roby will wear the Scarlet and Gray one more season.