Position Change Led Roby To OSU

Based on Bradley Roby's junior tape, Ohio State was not sure if the prospect from Georgia was worthy of an offer. Once the three-star prospect started lining up as a defensive back, however, it took Buckeyes head coach Jim Tressel a handful of plays to decide he was deserving of an offer from OSU. BuckeyeSports.com has more.

Bradley Roby might be listed as a cornerback, but his position upon arrival at Ohio State might still be up for debate.

Scout.com lists the 6-0, 180-pound Roby as a three-star prospect and the nation's No. 44 cornerback, but as a junior he primarily lined up at wide receiver and kick returner for Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge. It was not until his senior season that Roby began lining up more extensively at defensive back.

"I think really that was the thing that Ohio State liked about him was they saw him playing corner too," Peachtree Ridge head coach Bill Ballard told BuckeyeSports.com. "They liked the fact that he could play on either side of the ball. I know they recruited him primarily as a corner but from what (head coach Jim) Tressel told me, the guys on offense are fighting for him. He said it depends on who you talk to which side he's going to play."

As a senior, Roby recorded 42 tackles and six interceptions on defense. Offensively, he snagged 29 passes for 526 yards. In the process, he earned all-region, all-county and all-state honors.

Roby's senior season was not the first time he had played in the defensive backfield, however.

"(It was hard) at first, but I played safety before so it wasn't that hard," he said. "I was used to playing defense. I've been playing safety ever since I started playing football. I played defense my freshman year but from then on I played receiver only."

Roby was initially a Vanderbilt commitment, but he also held offers from schools such as Auburn, Boston College, Purdue, Wake Forest and West Virginia, among others. Most were to play cornerback.

Had he switched positions earlier, Roby said he feels he would have brought home some different scholarship offers.

"I probably would've gotten more scholarships earlier, but I feel like I would've gotten the same amount," he said. "I got some late offers from some pretty big schools this year. (In January) I got offers from Alabama and Georgia. It came a little bit late but I think I would've been more of a national recruit if I had played my junior year."

Bradley agreed with that sentiment, citing Roby's size.

"Had he played corner as a junior, he would've probably been one of the top-rated DBs in the southeastern United States," the coach said. "I think he would've had offers from pretty much everybody in the country. A lot of times a guy who's 6-feet tall who's a receiver is not an unknown or an odd commodity, but a guy who's a 6-foot corner is hard to find who can really run and jump and turn like he can. That separated him a little bit."

On National Signing Day, OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes echoed Bradley's words but said he feels Roby will stay on defense for the Buckeyes.

As a senior, Roby scored a touchdown in six different ways: He had a reception for a touchdown, ran the ball for a touchdown, picked up a fumble for a touchdown and returned an interception, kickoff and a punt for a touchdown.

"I probably should've throw a pass with him so he could've had a shot at a touchdown pass," Ballard said with a laugh. "He's very explosive player. He can make a big play real quick. He's got great ball skills. I think that's one of the things he brings to the table as a corner is he has real quick hips and feet and can flip and run but on top of that if the ball is in his area, he's going to get the ball."

Said Roby, who has been timed at 4.34 seconds in the 40-yard dash: "I just look to score any time I touch it. That's my goal. I'll do whatever I have to do to do that. Speed is probably one of my big attributes, so that definitely helps."

Still, his junior film showed no clips of Roby lining up on defense. It was not until the Buckeyes saw some senior film that they were sold on his abilities.

"Coach Tressel told me they watched five plays on him and once they watched those five plays he said, ‘Why are you all even debating this kid?' " Bradley said. "He said, ‘We need to take this guy.' Once they saw his senior film, there was no doubt he's real explosive on both sides of the ball and can help them play football."


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