Next Man Up: Sevyn Banks Working to Become Starting Cornerback

Adam Prescott

Much of the recent attention surrounding the Ohio State secondary has been focused on preseason All-American Shaun Wade… and deservedly so. The returning corner could have been a high pick in the 2020 NFL Draft but chose to return for another year in Columbus.

He will certainly be the unquestioned leader of the Buckeye defensive backfield, but won’t take the gridiron alone. On the opposite side will be a key counterpart in rising junior Sevyn Banks. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound junior, who physically looks the part, is the front-runner to start opposite Wade and play a critical role.

“I feel good and we are taking it day-by-day,” Banks said after Tuesday’s practice. “I can’t wait to get on the field and show everything. It’s been a process, a waiting game. But it’s always good to stay ready and that’s what we did.”

His role was almost boosted even more so this fall after Wade recently opted out, then immediately jumped back in after the Big Ten’s announcement to reinstate the season.

“My thought process has never really changed no matter who is here or what’s going on,” Banks explained. “You have to compete every day at Ohio State, so I will always ‘do me’ and try to keeping getting better.”

Banks appeared in five games as a true freshman, with his shining moment coming when he returned a blocked punt for a touchdown against Michigan. He then played in all 14 contests last year, contributing 11 total tackles and three pass breakups in spot duty.

He will now learn under his third defensive back coach in three years. That would seem like a very challenging obstacle if not for the third being the reputable Kerry Coombs, who recently returned to Ohio State after a brief stint with the Tennessee Titans.

“He’s got to be consistent in his performance and preparations,” Coombs began when asked about Banks. “But I’ve been pleased at the same time. He is a big, long, explosive athlete that is in tradition with the corners we’ve had at Ohio State. “I’m excited to coach him and see how he fares.”

Banks was ranked No. 58 on the ESPN 300 recruiting list coming out of Jones High School in Orlando, Fla. He has since been waiting behind some college stars and eventual first-round picks at the position group.

“I learned a lot backing up Jeff (Okudah) and Damon (Arnette),” Banks explained. “They are very smart guys and two different people, so I gained things from both sides and applied it to my talent.”

Former five-star recruit Tyreke Johnson, along with Cameron Brown, are currently right there in the mix for serious time. Marcus Williamson, Josh Proctor and others will also help aid the back-end, whether that be at safety or in the slot/nickel.

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