Josh Winslow/BSB

OSU’s New Cornerbacks Had A Slow Start To The Spring Game But Had A Better Finish

Ohio State’s new cornerbacks had a bit of a bumpy start in their first spring game as Buckeyes on Saturday, but ended the scrimmage on a higher note.

When Jeff Okudah, Kendall Sheffield, Shaun Wade and Marcus Williamson arrived at Ohio State this winter, the talent level at the Buckeyes’ cornerback position ratcheted up a few notches. 

Okudah and Sheffield were five-star recruits coming in while Wade and Williamson were four-star prospects. Okudah (second), Wade (fifth) and Williamson (14th) were rated as some of the best corners in the nation for the 2017 class. Sheffield, who is a junior college transfer from Blinn College in Texas, was the top overall JUCO prospect in 2017. 

While this quartet of Ohio State newcomers may have been among the best high school or JUCO players in their respective class, there is still a transition period when learning to play at the Division I level. 

That dynamic came to light at Ohio State’s spring game on Saturday afternoon. Some, if not all of the aforementioned first-year Buckeyes, gave up a long pass play or two at some point during the exhibition. 

Johnnie Dixon got behind Sheffield for a 44-yard touchdown reception on the first play of the second quarter. Terry McLaurin beat Wade for a 30-yard scoring grab later in the second. 

Despite the rough start, the young guys responded. 

Sheffield obliterated running back Antonio Williams on a screen pass in the third. Okudah and Wade then broke up back-to-back passes in the red zone late in the game.

Though they may have had some rough patches early on, head coach Urban Meyer was pleased with how the four new cornerbacks responded.   

“It was good to see the young corners kind of rebound – talking about Wade, Okudah, Williamson and Kendall Sheffield. They kind of started a little slow, but – I have to go back and watch the video – but I thought they finished the game pretty good.”

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