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NFL scout compares Jeff Okudah to Jalen Ramsey, Patrick Peterson

Ohio State’s top corner is garnering a ton of national attention

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 28 Ohio State at Nebraska Photo by Steve Nurenberg/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“Pat Pete. Ramsey. Whoever you want to compare him to, go ahead,” said one area scout tasked with scouting Ohio State. “He’s better than any dude that’s come out of there.”

- NFL scout via Matt Miller, Bleacher Report

Jeff Okudah came into the season with a ton of hype, and he has lived up to every bit of it. The junior cornerback who entered 2019 with zero interceptions has already picked off three passes, with 14 tackles and a forced fumble through six games. Okudah has been a key contributor to Ohio State’s defense, and one of the best if not the best defensive back on the team. While Buckeye fans know him well, those in the national landscape are beginning to take notice.

One NFL scout went as far as to say he could be compared to Patrick Peterson or Jalen Ramsey, two of the sport’s elite corners at the professional level. Of even greater praise than that, they said he could be the best player to come out of Ohio State.

Okudah joins a long list of top-tier defensive backs that have donned a Buckeye jersey in recent years. As the rightful owners of the title ‘DBU’, recent Ohio State draftees include Denzel Ward, Marshon Lattimore, Malik Hooker, Gareon Conley and Bradley Roby — just to name a few. According to this scout, Okudah has a chance to be better than all of those guys.

A five star recruit, Okudah was the No. 1 corner and No. 8 overall player in the nation in the 2017 class. At 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, the junior brings an impressive combination of athleticism and size. His skillset allows him to excel on the outside, while showing a tremendous ability to play tight man coverage. The same scout described Okudah as “the most naturally gifted cornerback I’ve seen since Ramsey—but he’s not going to worry you with his mouth,” impressed with the young DB’s maturity.

Both Ramsey and Peterson were taken No. 5 overall in their respective drafts, with Peterson going to the Arizona Cardinals with the fifth pick in 2011, and Ramsey to the Jacksonville Jaguars with the same pick in 2016. If Okudah really is as good as the scouts say he is, he should be joining Chase Young as an early first round pick in the next NFL Draft.

“Healthy again, Bowen was named a starter for Ohio State on the offensive line for the second time in his career before the 2019 season and graded out as a champion for the first three games of the year. Now a fifth-year senior Bowen has been on a long road filled with the highest of highs, but also some very low points.”

- Patrick Murphy, 247sports

It has been a long and winding road for Branden Bowen, a fifth-year senior offensive tackle at Ohio State. He came to Columbus with little hype as a three-star recruit out of Draper, Utah, and one of the lower members of a stacked 2015 recruiting class. Despite his low rating, Bowen would work his way to a starting job by his redshirt sophomore year. That is when the rollercoaster began.

Things went south after a leg injury suffered halfway through the season kept him out for over a year. His climb back up began off the field, as during his long rehab he got engaged to his girlfriend, and the couple had their first child. The positives continued for Bowen in 2019, when the finally healthy o-lineman once again earned the starting job to start the season. He graded out as a champion in the first three games of the season, but then the injury bug reared its ugly head once again.

Bowen would be forced to miss the team’s game against Nebraska, concerned after feeling spasms in his back. Although Bowen dressed and warmed up for the game, he ultimately would not take the field, with Josh Alabi taking his place. Alabi would start again in place of Bowen against Michigan State the following week, but was quickly replaced in favor of Bowen after two bad drives by the offense to start the game. Bowen would play the remainder of the game at right tackle, but felt the earlier back spasms limited his strength and affected his blocking.

For Bowen, the off week could not have come at a better time. As the expected starter at right tackle the rest of the way, the extra time will allow him to get back to full strength and hopefully remain healthy through the team’s final six games of the regular season and beyond. Knowing Alabi can come in and fill the role if needed is an added bonus, but the Buckeyes will be at their best with a healthy Branden Bowen.

A Wolverine made a pit stop in Columbus this week, and not one from the terrible state up north. After performing at the Schottenstein Center on Thursday, Hugh Jackman — famous for his role as Wolverine in the X-Men — made sure to get a work out in at one of Ohio State’s athletic facilities. Jackman’s stop was part of his world tour, performing hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables, and other Broadway musicals and films.

Fun fact: Jackman holds the Guinness World Record for “longest career as a live-action Marvel superhero,” for his role as Wolverine from 2000-2017.

In today’s edition of the NCAA doing something dumb, former Ohio State basketball player Micah Potter was denied immediate eligibility and will not be able to play for Wisconsin in his first semester. Potter, who transferred to the Badgers two days before the opener last season, will be eligible to play starting Dec. 21 against Milwaukee.

In a statement released by Wisconsin, Potter stated, “I tried to stay at Ohio State through a coaching change, but ultimately felt it was in my best interest to find a new opportunity. In doing so, I have already sat out a full season of competition. I don’t understand why I am being punished additionally for doing what is encouraged of a student-athlete. The penalty of a third semester to what I have already sat out seems unjust.” Badgers coach Greg Gard echoed his sentiment.

Potter appeared in 59 games over two seasons with the Buckeyes, averaging 4.1 points and just under three rebounds per game mostly in backup duty. The 6-foot-9 forward has not appeared in a regular season game since the 2017-18 season.

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