Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor
Redshirt sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby might be a gifted athlete, but one Ohio State coach said his work ethic is what has taken him to the next level.
“The reason he is good is because God gave him a lot of ability, but the reason that he’s great is because he has taken what God has given him and he’s mastered his craft,” said OSU’s cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.
Through OSU’s six games, Roby is statistically one of the leading defensive backs for the Buckeyes and in the Big Ten. He leads the conference in passes defended with 11, and his two interceptions are tied for second behind his teammate, redshirt senior cornerback Travis Howard.
At Monday’s press conference, coach Urban Meyer named Roby as one of the team’s co-defensive players of the week.
When Meyer introduced Roby he said, “Co-player of the game as well on defense, it’s every week, making play opportunities from the corner.”
That consistent production can be seen in his stats. Despite missing the University of Alabama-Birmingham game, Roby is fourth on the team with 32 total tackles. He also has two tackles for loss, one sack and one fumble recovery.
Coombs gushed about his pupil, and credited Roby’s success to his work in the film room.
“A kid like Bradley, whose film study is extraordinary, hours and hours of film study, he’ll know his opponent. He understands the route that’s coming, he’s prepared for the ball when it comes and then you go to finish those plays,” Coombs said. “He’s the guy that wants to make plays, that needs to make plays for our team to be successful.”
In Roby’s latest effort against Nebraska, he recorded four total tackles, a pass break-up, and intercepted two passes, one of which he returned for the game’s first touchdown.
His performance and labor with film has been noticed by his coaches and teammates alike.
“Bradley’s a playmaker for us and always in there watching film, always competitive out there on the practice field doing what he has to do, always doing his job. So we love having him out there, especially on the back end giving us some extra time to rush the quarterback,” said senior defensive end and captain John Simon.
That playmaking ability has not been limited to the defensive side of the ball. With 2:32 left in the first half of the Michigan State game on Sept. 29 in East Lansing, Mich., Roby laid out and blocked a kick from the Spartan’s punter. This gave the ball to the Buckeye offense 35 yards from the end zone, but they were unable to capitalize and score any points.
Coombs has seen improvement from Roby since the coach arrived on campus and said he has a bright future ahead like former OSU cornerbacks Shawn Springs, Antoine Winfield and Malcolm Jenkins before him.
“Frankly, I think the sky’s the limit,” Coombs said. “I think Bradley’s a first-round draft pick down the road.”
OSU will play Indiana Saturday at 8 p.m. in Bloomington, Ind.