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Ohio State named “DBU” by ESPN

The Buckeyes have gotten defensive backs into the NFL better than any other program

NCAA Football: Maryland at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

The debate among college football fans over which schools produce the best players is one that has gone on seemingly forever, with nobody willing to come to an agreement on which program really is “Position U”. Ohio State makes a good argument for being the best at a couple different positions, but perhaps has no better body of work than at defensive back. While SEC schools like LSU and Georgia love to fight over producing the best DBs, according to ESPN, it is actually the Buckeyes who get to lay claim to the title of DBU.

Since 1998, Ohio State has had 30 defensive backs drafted, with 12 of the 30 being taken in the first round. Recently, the Buckeyes have really turned it up a notch in producing talent at the position, especially at cornerback. Guys among the likes of Marshon Lattimore, Denzel Ward, Malik Hooker and Gareon Conley have all been been first round picks just within the past three years, with the majority seeing continued success in the pros. Former first rounders have also shined in the NFL, including Bradley Roby in 2014, Malcolm Jenkins in 2009 and Donte Whitner in 2006, just to name a few.

While the Buckeyes lead the pack at DB, they also find themselves high up on the list at other skill positions, including coming at at No. 2 at wide receiver and No. 3 at linebacker. While NFL-caliber OSU LBs have kind of tapered off lately, the names they have produced have been huge, including players like A.J. Hawk and James Laurinaitis. Wide receiver has been kind to Ohio State, producing guys like Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn Jr., and most recently Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin. The Buckeyes could very well lay claim to WRU in the coming years, as Brian Hartline continues to stockpile top-tier receiving talent.


“That was one of the 22 NCAA violations Ohio State’s football and men’s basketball programs self-reported between May 1, 2017 and May 22, 2019. The athletic department reported 16 football violations and six men’s basketball violations during the two-year period.”

- Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors

There are a ton of rules and regulations within the NCAA, some necessary and some absurd, that every program must comply with. Sometimes, those rules get broken, as and a result they must be self-reported by the school in question. Ohio State self-reported 22 NCAA violations spanning the past two years, with 16 in football and six in men’s basketball. None of the violations are incredibly serious, and as such the punishments were very mild.

The violations ranged anywhere from “impermissible text messages” to “promotion using student-athlete image,” which by and large were harmless. One example is Larry Johnson texting a 2021 prospect he “mistakenly believed” to be part of the 2020 class. Another example is Urban Meyer making two phone calls to a recruit in a week instead of the allotted one. Meyer also received a violation for tweeting a picture of Ohio State players in Lebron James’ gear, for which the punishment was self-imposed education to the digital media staff about promotion using student athletes.

As previously mentioned, because of the mild nature of the violations, the punishments were nothing serious or noteworthy. The seemingly biggest punishment enforced by the NCAA as a result of the violations was that Ryan Day and the rest of the coaching staff were not allowed to speak to recruits between Jan. 6 and Jan. 18 of this year, which obviously did not have much of an effect on the current recruiting cycle. Ohio State also agreed to stop recruiting Penn State’s Micah Parsons after he appeared on College Gameday and spoke with analysts.


College football is now just a month away, which means we are deep into preseason award watch lists. The latest Buckeye to see his name on a list in punter Drue Chrisman, who has been named to the Ray Guy Award watch list, the honor given annual to the nation’s best punter.

Chrisman was the top ranked punter in the country in the 2016 class, and hailing out of LaSalle High School in Cincinnati chose to travel up the road to play for Ohio State. Following a redshirt season his first year on campus, Chrisman averaged 44.2 yards per punt, good for second-most in the Big Ten. Last year is when he really took it up a notch for the Buckeyes. Chrisman landed 29 punts inside the 20-yard line, the second-most in school history, to give him a career total of 54 punts inside the 20-yard line, sixth-most in program history.

Chrisman also played a key role in the sloppy Michigan State game last season, pinning the Spartans inside their own six-yard line five times — once setting up a safety — in the second half as Ohio State went on to win 26-6.


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