Ohio State Buckeyes' Secondary Primed for Success in 2024

Tim Walton's Ohio State Buckeye defense is looking in a great spot.
Secondary coach Tim Walton has a flurry of returners this season.
Secondary coach Tim Walton has a flurry of returners this season. / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
In this story:

When a team comes off a season when they have the top pass defense, one would think they can't get much better.

This certainly has not been the case for Ohio State — secondary coach Tim Walton has only added to his elite defense after losing virtually no one outside of safety Josh Proctor, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars as an undrafted free agent.

Apart from Proctor, the Buckeyes return several notable players, including cornerbacks Denzel Burke, Jordan Hancock and Davison Igbinosun, and safeties Lathan Ransom and Sonny Styles.

In addition, when injuries seemed to pile up on the Buckeyes, two key members stepped up to the stage — sophomores Malik Hartford and Jermaine Matthews Jr.

Caleb Downs arrives in Columbus having led Alabama in total tackles a season ago.
Caleb Downs arrives in Columbus having led Alabama in total tackles a season ago. / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA

Now, Walton and head coach Ryan Day have added perhaps one of the greatest overall defenders in college football in junior safety Caleb Downs. Safeties coach Matt Guerrieri said on April 3 that Downs is a "really special" player.

"You can take talent as a god-given thing but the discipline and skill that you develop over time in your life, [Downs has] been able to do that," Guerrieri said.

Downs led both Alabama and the SEC with 70 total tackles as a freshman on his way to an Associated Press Second-Team All-America mention.

The Buckeyes also added redshirt junior cornerback Keenan Nelson Jr. from the portal Friday from a South Carolina team that allowed just under 250 pass yards per game a season ago.

Regardless, the Buckeyes were the only FBS team last season to allow less than 2000 passing yards — by a pretty significant margin.

With a stellar offense and returners on the defensive line and secondary, is there anyone who can stop Day's squad?


Published
Gaurav Law

GAURAV LAW