Roby Addresses Turbulent Offseason

Ohio State junior cornerback Bradley Roby entered the season with All-American expectations after bypassing the NFL Draft. After a one-game suspension because of an offseason incident, he spoke about what he learned from his experience.

Although he was initially scheduled to speak at the Big Ten Media Days in Chicago in July, Ohio State junior cornerback Bradley Roby never got the chance. Just days prior to the annual event, the preseason All-American was arrested for misdemeanor battery after allegedly striking a bouncer at a Bloomington, Ind., bar.

That charge was eventually downgraded once security footage largely clearing Roby's name came to light and Roby agreed to enter a pretrial diversion program, but the incident cost him the chance to appear in the season opener Aug. 31 vs. Buffalo. Roby actually endured a slightly longer wait Sept. 7 against San Diego State, as sophomore cornerback Armani Reeves earned the start. Roby entered the secondary on the third play of the game.

With his first game behind him after a solid outing, Roby addressed his headline-filled offseason and the impact it had on him.

"Yeah, I understood," he said of the suspension. "I made the program look bad, and I had to pay the consequences. You wouldn't like that, and of course I didn't like that. I hated not playing, but I understood it had to be done."

Despite his understanding of the situation, Roby still expressed frustration over the initial charges and the scrutiny that he faced as a result.

"It was a very stressful and frustrating process knowing that I know what happened," he said. "That's something I learned. This world is about perception. If people say something about something, a lot of people think automatically think it without even getting the facts. That's not reality."

Roby said that he channeled his feelings about the situation into his play. The national leader in passes defended per game a season ago, Roby ultimately finished his return with four tackles and one pass defended. San Diego State threw for 216 yards, but most of those came after the game was well out of reach.

"Just that whole situation, I keep it in the back of my mind all the time," he said. "If you forget what happened to you in the past, you're bound to repeat it. I just want to keep that in my mind. I use that on the field, all the anger and aggression from that whole process."

The junior, considered by many to be among the best cornerbacks in the country, spent the offseason wrestling with the decision to turn pro or return to Columbus for another season. When he wasn't assessed as a certain first-round selection, Roby opted to come back to Ohio State.

OSU head coach Urban Meyer said the incident in Bloomington was part of a stressful offseason for Roby.

"(He's someone) who I have a lot of respect for, and his mother, as well," Meyer said. "He catches a lot of people in his ear, people that, you know, ‘You could have done this, you could have done this,' and then after you've been told that for so long, I believe that he went through a little bit of a funk of buyer's remorse or whatever.

"And I've seen ever since the incident that occurred, once the videotape came out, there was no assault, there was no battery, there was no whatever. But I think he learned a really strong lesson and he's done everything we've asked him to do."

Roby confirmed that he had spent part of the offseason wondering about his decision but said that all was in the past now.

"I think that happens with everybody that decides to come back when they have a lot of hype to go into the draft and decide to come back because you're kind of used to it being a certain mind-set and people treating you a certain way and stuff like that," Roby said.

"All of a sudden, you're right back in college, you're right back getting yelled at, all that stuff. It's like, "Wow, ok. I could be getting paid right now.' So of course that stuff happens, but you just have to realize it's not about you. It's about your teammates. Your teammates are the reason you got that attention so I had to realize that and not be selfish."

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