Ohio State Football: Roby's Return Huge for OSU Defense

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2013

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

While Ohio State fans were celebrating the back-to-back verbal commitments of 4-star linebackers Trey Johnson and Mike Mitchell Saturday afternoon, All-Big Ten cornerback Bradley Roby was ready to keep the good news coming for Buckeye Nation later that evening.

The soon-to-be junior cornerback announced Saturday night that he will return to Ohio State, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

“We have some unfinished business, kind of, with the NCAA, which kind of took our season away from us before we even started,” Roby said.

His return is huge news for a defense that's already losing seven starters, including every starter along the defensive line. With Ohio State's lack of depth at cornerback, his early departure would have been a huge setback for a team with national title aspirations. 

It was a decision Roby battled with, saying, “It was a tough decision. I looked at a lot of things and, even though I have pretty good stock for this year’s draft, I really think it’s better for me and my team for me to come back for another year.”

Roby ranked third on the team with 63 tackles in 2012 to go along with two interceptions and a league-leading 19 pass breakups. He was voted All-Big Ten first team by both the coaches and the media after his stellar 2012 campaign.

"I haven’t finished what I came to Ohio State to do, which was to become one of the best corners to come out of Ohio State,” Roby said. “I don’t think I’ve accomplished that yet."

Doing so will require Roby to lead a very inexperienced Buckeyes defense in 2013. The front seven will be getting a near-complete overhaul as it replaces six of its seven starters from last year. The lone returner—Ryan Shazier—was arguably Ohio State's best defender in 2012, but with Roby's return, Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes can at least count on an experienced secondary.

Roby will join a pair of safeties—Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett—as returning starters in Ohio State's defensive backfield. Meyer will look to Doran Grant, Adam Griffin or a trio of talented incoming freshman (Cameron Burrows, Eli Apple and Gareon Conley) to replace the graduated Travis Howard at the other cornerback spot.

According to Brandon Castel of TheOzone.net, Roby has a clear-cut goal for 2013.

“Who wouldn't want to play for a national championship?" he said. "That's definitely a good goal for our team, and maybe next year we can get there.”


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