Ohio State is replacing seven starters on defense, but that doesn’t mean the Buckeyes lack star power on that side of the ball.
Sports Illustrated backed that up by placing cornerback Bradley Roby and linebacker Ryan Shazier on its Preseason All-America First Team.
Both juniors (Roby redshirted in 2010) will provide leadership to a unit that desperately needs it after losing John Simon, Zach Boren and Etienne Sabino to graduation.
Roby had a breakout sophomore year, leading the country in passes defended per game (1.73) while tying a single-season school record with 17 pass break-ups in just 12 games. Roby also recorded two interceptions (one of which he returned 41 yards for a touchdown), one sack and one fumble recovery.
The lockdown corner was also tremendous in run support, ranking second on the team with 41 solo tackles (and third with 63 tackles overall).
Roby has garnered a lot of attention this offseason, being named to the Thorpe, the Bednarik and the Bronko Nagurski Award watch lists.