Ohio State Football: Cornerback Bradley Roby to Forgo Senior Season

David Regimbal@davidreg412Featured ColumnistNovember 20, 2013

USA Today

Ohio State's Bradley Roby, one of the top cornerbacks in the country, will forgo his senior season and enter the 2014 NFL draft.

According to Kyle Rowland of Eleven Warriors, Urban Meyer announced Roby's decision Wednesday night.

Roby, a fourth-year junior, was considering an early jump to the NFL following the 2012 season but decided to stay one more year because he wasn't ready to leave Columbus

Most expected Roby to go pro following this season, so his decision wasn't a surprise to Meyer, per the Eleven Warriors article.

We’ve talked and he is going to move on. That’s all you ask. You don’t ask for five years nowadays. It’s no secret, there’s nothing wrong with that. [He said] "Coach, here’s my plan," so you say, "Great, let’s go and keep playing." It’s great for him and great for Ohio State. I think we’re set to get his degree, too, in the spring.

Non-senior players usually wait until after the season to go public with their NFL intentions. The early announcement, though, allows Meyer and the Buckeyes to honor Roby with the other seniors during their last game in Ohio Stadium this Saturday.

Roby had a breakout sophomore campaign, leading the country in passes defended per game while piling up 63 tackles, which ranked third on the team. That earned him first-team All-American honors from ESPN.com, and many considered him a first-round lock if he had entered last year's draft.

Roby's return was a huge boost to an Ohio State defense that was replacing seven starters. He was named to a number of watch lists this summer, including the Thorpe Award, while being pegged a preseason first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated.

Roby's season started off rocky, though, as he drew a one-game suspension from Meyer for his involvement in an offseason incident at a bar in Bloomington, Ind.

His play on the field was just as shaky, especially early.

Bradley Roby struggled early, but the talented cornerback is surging for No. 3 Ohio State.
Bradley Roby struggled early, but the talented cornerback is surging for No. 3 Ohio State.Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Ohio State's defense was torched in its Week 3 matchup with Cal, and Bradley Roby was no help, allowing two touchdown catches of 61 and 14 yards. Two weeks later against Wisconsin, Jared Abbrederis had a career day with Roby in coverage, hauling in 10 catches for 207 yards and a touchdown.

Following the Wisconsin game, though, Roby has played much better. Last week against Illinois, he recorded six tackles, a pass break-up and an interception that he returned 63 yards for a touchdown.

According to Austin Ward of ESPN.com, Roby credits his resurgence to focusing on his play.

"Once you change your mindset from trying to please scouts, fans, other people to just making plays for your teammates and doing your job, that's when it all shifts."

That shift has him back on track and bound for the NFL.


David Regimbal is the Ohio State Football Lead Writer for Bleacher Report.
Follow him on Twitter @davidreg412.