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Ohio State Safety Ronnie Hickman Plans To Enter 2023 NFL Draft

Hickman will be among the 23 players participating in Senior Day festivities ahead of Saturday's game against Michigan.
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Although he has two years of eligibility remaining after this season, Ohio State safety Ronnie Hickman told reporters on Tuesday that Saturday’s game against Michigan will be his final home game as he plans to enter the 2023 NFL Draft.

“That’s going to be my last game in the ‘Shoe, so I’m going to cherish and enjoy it the best I can,” Hickman said. “I think everyone’s clock starts ticketing at a certain point. At some point, it’s going to be time for everyone to take that next step, and I think that’s now.”

A former four-star prospect from South Orange, N.J., Hickman led the team with 100 tackles last fall, and though he’s seen his numbers drop off as the rest of defense has improved under new coordinator Jim Knowles, he’s been one of the highest-graded safeties in the country this season.

Hickman has recorded 48 tackles, five pass break ups and one interception in 11 games this fall, while Ohio State has allowed just 283.4 yards and 16.9 points per game. The Buckeyes gave up 372.6 yards and 22.8 points per game last year, and he was often tasked with cleaning up the play on the back end.

Asked if Saturday’s game being his last time suiting up for the Scarlet and Gray in Ohio Stadium would add any incentive to the game against the Wolverines, Hickman said, “It doesn’t change anything. I don’t think I need any more motivation.”

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Hickman is the only redshirt junior to be recognized on Saturday, though tight end Cade Stover and linebackers Tommy Eichenberg and Steele Chambers also have a decision to make about their NFL futures.

Other players participating in Senior Day festivities include wide receivers Kamryn Babb and Xavier Johnson; offensive linemen Dawand Jones. Matthew Jones and Ryan Smith; tight end/fullback Mitch Rossi; defensive ends Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Tyler Friday and Zach Harrison; defensive tackles Jerron Cage and Taron Vincent; linebackers Palaie Gaoteote and Teradja Mitchell; cornerbacks Cameron Brown and Lloyd McFarquhar; safeties Tanner McCalister and Josh Proctor; long snapper Bradley Robinson; kicker Noah Ruggles; and punter Michael O’Shaughnessy.

Former running back Marcus Crowley and former offensive lineman Harry Miller will also be recognized after medically retiring from football this offseason due to knee and mental health issues, respectively.

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