Ohio State is working to replace all but six starters from last year's 12-1 Fiesta Bowl champion team with three of those departing letter winners coming from the back end of the defense.
Cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs is searching for a replacement for Eli Apple, an expected first-round pick in the NFL Draft this spring, and the spot seems to be between Marshon Lattimore and Denzel Ward at this point in the competition. Coombs said that he wants to use a deeper rotation at cornerback this season and said that Lattimore, Ward and Damon Webb would all see time alongside incumbent starter Gareon Conley. if the Buckeyes had to play a game today.
Lattimore has struggled with health during his time at Ohio State, but is progressing nicely, Coombs said. Ward, meanwhile, brings elite speed to the position.
Ward backed up Coombs' comments on his speed, saying he believes he can run a 4.2 40-yard dash and is the fastest player on the roster.
As he works back from injury, Lattimore said he has taken better care of his body in preparation for the upcoming season, including doing yoga to increase his flexibility.
Also working back from injury is receiver Noah Brown. The receiver broke his leg in fall camp last season. Before that he was expected to be a starter for the Buckeyes.
Receiver Terry McLaurin has had a close view of Brown's work to return from injury and spoke to the New Jersey native's progress as well as the overall speed in the wide receiver room.
Curtis Samuel is now firmly in the receivers room after starting his career as a running back, though he said that he expects to get more carries from his H position this fall as the Buckeyes look to replace running back Ezekiel Elliott by committee.