We wrap up our Ohio State position group previews with the defensive backs.
Five Buckeye DBs have been drafted in the first round over the last three NFL drafts, and the expectation is multiple pros will be lining up back there again this fall in Columbus.
This is a young group (no seniors) that includes three five-star prospects and eight four-stars so there is no lack of physical ability.
Returning starters: Damon Arnette, Jordan Fuller
Rising: Isaiah Pryor, Jahsen Wint, Jeffrey Okudah, Kendall Sheffield
Others: Amir Riep, Josh Proctor, Brendon White, Marcus Hooker, Kevin Dever, Owen Fankhauser, Sevyn Banks, Tyreke Johnson, Marcus Williamson, Shaun Wade, Alex Badine, Loyd McFarquhar.
Arnette is a junior who was an honorable mention All-Big Ten pick last season, his first as a starter, when he had two interceptions and 44 tackles.
Sheffield is a junior who came to Ohio State as a highly touted junior college recruit. Before that, he was a five-star Alabama signee. The 6-foot, 193-pounder was part of the regular rotation last season and started three games.
Okudah is a sophomore who was a five-star recruit and is slated to share time with Sheffield on the first team this fall.
Pryor was a four-star prospect at IMG Academy in Florida. He played special teams last season and logged four tackles.
Wint was a less-heralded recruit from Erasmus Hall in Brooklyn, N.Y. He played nine games last season as a redshirt freshman and logged four tackles.
To begin the season, those two are sharing the starting spot opposite Fuller, who started 13 games a season ago and showed why he was one of the highest-rated recruits in the country two years ago. The third-team All-Big Ten pick made 70 tackles last season, and one of his two interceptions helped clinch the Michigan game.
Riep, White and Williamson are sophomores who were four-star recruits while Wade is a five-star who redshirted last year with an injury.
Riep, a former Colerain High School star, has already become one of the team’s top special teamers, logging 10 tackles last season and an interception as a true freshman.
Johnson is a five-star true freshman who enrolled in time to take part in sprig practice.