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Ohio State football: Surprises emerging for Buckeyes at key safety spot – Landof10.com


During the week, Land of 10 reporters following the Buckeyes address pressing questions on the minds of the Ohio State fan base with our daily feature. To ask Austin Ward a question, follow along on Twitter and suggest a topic right here. Check back Monday through Friday as we dive into the Ohio State Question of the Day. Go here to see all of our previous answers.

The pre-spring worries about the amount of depth at safety appear to have been unfounded. Or, alternatively, the Buckeyes already addressed the situation before reporting for the start of camp. Either way, despite some of those alarms coming from right here, along with a suggestion that maybe a talented cornerback such as Shaun Wade could provide some help elsewhere in the secondary, it doesn’t look like additional assistance will be required for the Buckeyes anytime soon.

And just to be clear: There is no expectation at all that Jeffrey Okudah should be considered one of those options for a position change. When he gets healthy after his offseason shoulder surgery, Ohio State will expect him to return to that top rotation at cornerback after his impressive freshman season and unleash even more of his enormous potential there.

Ohio State-Alex Grinch-Buckeyes football-defensive coordinator-defensive backfield-safety-depth chart
Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has options at safety this spring. (Ryan Donnelly/Land of 10)

But as for the safety group that new co-defensive coordinator Alex Grinch is leading? There are a handful of intriguing candidates behind projected starter Isaiah Pryor who clearly have upside and have eased some of the concerns about the depth in the back end. And while they might not truly count as converted cornerbacks at this point in their careers, both Amir Riep and Wayne Davis signed with the program as two of the more coveted players at that position in the country. Now those former 4-stars look like prime contenders to beef up the competition for Grinch, who also will welcome Josh Proctor into the mix this summer. Throw the versatile Brendon White into that battle as well with Jahsen Wint, and it becomes even more clear that Ohio State has more talent available to replace Damon Webb and complement Jordan Fuller than it was getting credit for in the offseason.

Now, there’s obviously still a long way to go even just in spring practice. Ohio State could make some tweaks or experiment if it needs to find different ways to mix and match to ensure the best group of players are on the field for the secondary as a whole. But at this point, it doesn’t look like much more sharing will be necessary, and the Silver Bullets are on track to be even better this season because of it.

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