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Cameron Brown is ready to be the next cornerback to shine for Ohio State

With cornerback Jeff Okudah declaring for the NFL Draft, and Damon Arnette exhausting his eligibility, cornerback Cameron Brown is ready to step into a bigger role.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 07 Big Ten Championship Game Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“Not really. But I’m not trying to force that. I’m just trying to work on my game until it’s my time to shine.”

Ohio State cornerback Cameron Brown on if he sees himself as an under-the-radar cornerback via Colin Hass-Hill, Eleven Warriors

Cameron Brown’s time to shine is likely to come sooner rather than later. After seeing some time on the field in 2019, Brown will be counted on a lot more in 2020 now that cornerback Jeff Okudah has declared for the NFL Draft, and Damon Arnette has exhausted his eligibility. Brown was on the field for 254 snaps in 2019, which was the most amongst non-starting defensive backs last year.

Former co-defensive coordinator and secondary coach Jeff Hafley thinks Brown has the talent to become the next high draft pick at cornerback to come from Ohio State. The rise of Brown is even more impressive when considering he was originally planning on playing wide receiver at Ohio State. The St. Louis product was only at wide receiver for a few weeks though before it was obvious that he was going to make more of an impact at defensive back.

What stands out the most about Brown is his speed. In May, Brown ran a 4.3 40-yard dash, but he thinks he is even faster than that. Brown had been coming off a torn hamstring, and he claimed he tripped when he was running the 40-yard dash. The cornerback has not only shown off his speed on the field, but he shot up the depth charts this season.

Even though Hafley has moved on to take the head coaching job at Boston College, Brown should benefit from the return of Kerry Coombs to the coaching staff, if the rumors that are swirling about the former Buckeye assistant coach returning to Columbus come to fruition. While it will be hard to replace talents like Okudah and Arnette at cornerback, if there is anyone who has the confidence to do so, it’s Cameron Brown.

“I know what Corey’s capable of. And I know that he’s got a great feel for those guys. He’s a good teacher and he’s going to do a good job. And Kevin will be right in there with him. I’ll be right in there with him. And Justin’s coming back, so he’s got a year under his belt. I think it’s going to be a great fit.”

Ohio State head coach Ryan Day on the promotion of Corey Dennis to quarterbacks coach via Spencer Holbrook, Letterman Row

It looked as if quality control coach Corey Dennis was going to be moving to Colorado State to become a part of new head coach Steve Addazio’s staff, but then opportunity opened up for Dennis to remain in Columbus. Quarterbacks coach and passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich was lured down to Texas by former Ohio State assistant Tom Herman to become the offensive coordinator of the Longhorns, leaving a spot open on Ohio State’s coaching staff.

Day’s familiarity with Dennis was a big reason why it was crucial for the head coach to keep his “right hand man” on the coaching staff. Since becoming a part of Ohio State’s coaching staff, all Dennis has done is work with quarterbacks Dwayne Haskins and Justin Fields, both of whom who went on to have career seasons for the Buckeyes. Haskins went as far to say that Dennis was his “personal quarterbacks coach when Coach Day wasn’t around.”

What makes the promotion of Dennis an even bigger no-brainer, is both Day and Dennis are young and could see themselves working with each other in Columbus for quite some time. Ohio State’s offense was already in good shape with Day, quarterback Justin Fields, and wide receivers coach Brian Hartline, who is another young and talented assistant coach. With Dennis now staying in Columbus at least for the near future, the Ohio State coaching staff now has some of the best young coaching minds in the game on their staff.

Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins was honored last night in Texas as the recipient of the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award, which is given annually to the top offensive player in Division I football that either went to high school in Texas or played college football in Texas. Joining Dobbins as finalists in attendance last night were SMU quarterback Shane Buechele and Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts and wide receiver CeeDee Lamb were also finalists that couldn’t attend last night’s ceremony.

Following a season in which he became the first Ohio State running back to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, Dobbins announced he was entering the 2020 NFL Draft, wrapping up an Ohio State career that saw him rush for the second-most yards in school history. Dobbins came to Columbus from La Grange, Texas and made an immediate impact, rushing for 181 yards in his first game in the scarlet and gray against Indiana.

The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award was first awarded in 2012, and Dobbins is only the second running back to win the award, with Texas running back D’Onta Freeman taking home the award in 2016. The other five winners of the award have been quarterbacks. With promising wide receiver Garrett Wilson hailing from Texas, maybe the Buckeyes could see another player win the award in the near future.

“[Hockey Day] is a fun experience and a cool atmosphere. One year, my hometown, Elk River, hosted it and I was able to play outside with my youth team, so there’s always tons of people there and it’s nationally televised.”

Ohio State defenseman Madison Bizal via Kayla Harvey, The Lantern

As if Ohio State’s series with Minnesota this weekend wasn’t important enough, Saturday’s game in the Twin Cities will be an outdoor game. The contest is part of the 14th-annual Hockey Day in Minnesota, which is a weekend full of events featuring games for youth players all the way up to the NHL level.

The atmosphere of Hockey Day in Minnesota heats up even more when the fifth-ranked Buckeyes will taken on the top-ranked Golden Gophers. Ohio State is the only team to defeat Minnesota so far this year, topping the Golden Gophers 4-3 on October 25th before falling to Minnesota 4-2 the next day.

Many of the Buckeyes are very familiar with Hockey Day in Minnesota, as a third of the players on Ohio State’s roster are from Minnesota, and three of the coaches played college hockey at Minnesota. Head coach Nadine Muzerall was a standout for the Golden Gophers, holding the school record with 139 goals in her career, as well as winning a national title as both a player and a coach.

Ohio State comes into this weekend’s games with the Golden Gophers riding a three-game winning streak, most recently topping Minnesota State in two contests in Columbus last weekend. While this weekend’s games against the Golden Gophers are huge, the Buckeyes will have six more series left in the regular season after this weekend before the WCHA Conference Tournament kicks off in late February.