It is rarely too early to speak in regards to the NFL Draft, and one of the polarizing and fun positions to debate is the protection position. As we said within the cornerback piece, the Ohio State football program makes a solid argument as DBU (or BIA as it could) with historic names like Malik Hooker, Vonn Bell, and Donte Whitner once roaming the Buckeye defensive backfield.
The security class within the Big Ten is a bit of underwhelming with the departure of former Northwestern star, Brandon Joseph, entering the transfer portal and heading to Notre Dame. I also had high hopes for Marcus Hooker as he showed flashes, but did not stick and opted to transfer to Youngstown State. Enough talking about who left and let’s focus don’t the highest three within the Big Ten.
Lathan Ransom, Ohio State – 6-foot, 1-inch, 205-pounds
Everyone seems to be sleeping on Lathan Ransom, because he suffered a serious leg injury that kept him out of each spring practice and it is a fair stance considering the protection position is so deep and his projection within the defense is foggy, but he received the third most snaps of any of the Ohio State safeties last season and when healthy he’s dynamic.
— NationalPrepStars (@NPrepStars) October 7, 2019
Ronnie Hickman, Ohio State – 6-foot, 1-inch, 205-pounds
Ronnie Hickman is a flexible athlete who is probably going going to play a more free safety variety of role this season after playing a more physical role last season. Hickman is a productive player who could thrive much more in 2022.
Ronnie Hickman #14
Leads Ohio State in tackles with 44 (next closest has 28 tackles)
Leads Ohio State in INTs with 2 (returned 1 for a TD) pic.twitter.com/FOklQd7qqM
— Mr. Ohio (@MrOH1O) October 8, 2021
Ji’Ayir Brown, Penn State – 5-foot, 11-inches, 204-pounds
It might not be shocking to see Ji’Ayir Brown elevate to All-American status this season. As a sophomore, Brown tied the FBS lead for interceptions with six and he’s in search of much more in 2022. Brown plays the sphere safety role within the Penn State defense.
Tremendous range on this play by #PSU Safety Ji’Ayir Brown. He’s had a implausible season playing opposite of Jaquan Brisker and now as much as five interceptions on the season.
Writing his name down for next season, he’ll be an interesting study this summer. pic.twitter.com/l4y3ZaCi04
— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) January 1, 2022
Rating the highest ten college football programs with the fewest losses since 2015. Where is Ohio State?