The Breakdown: Cornerbacks

Ohio State's NFL cornerback tradition will be put to the test yet again come April's pro draft, but in the meantime seniors Chimdi Chekwa and Devon Torrence will lead the Buckeyes at the position in 2010. After that, there's a stable of youngsters champing at the bit to get playing time.

5 – Chimdi Chekwa
6-0, 190
Clermont (Fla.) East Ridge
Career: Chekwa came to OSU as a bit of an anonymous two-star player but will leave having played in four seasons for the Buckeyes. After redshirting in 2006, he started to turn heads in the offseason before becoming the team's nickel back in '07, a year he finished with 30 tackles. He became a regular starter opposite Malcolm Jenkins the next year and made 30 more stops, then broke up seven passes while making 43 tackles last year. Chekwa also has one interception apiece in each of his seasons.

Standout Performances: Earned his first career interception vs. Northwestern in 2007. … Made 10 tackles later that year vs. Purdue to earn Big Ten defensive player of the week honors. … Made an interception at USC in 2008. … Led the Buckeyes with 11 stops in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl game vs. Texas. … Seven tackles vs. Iowa in 2009.

Honors And Accomplishments: Honorable mention All-Big Ten last season. … Part of the 2009 Big Ten outdoor 4x100-meter relay championship squad.

Outlook: Chekwa needs to become better at making a play on the ball while it's in the air, but he's a talented, veteran corner for the Buckeyes. As the most experienced member of the secondary, he'll be counted on for leadership.

Player Comment: "It's like in anything: if it's your last time around you cherish it a little more. You think about it a little bit more and I know going into the season I'm going to have to do more than focus on me. I'm going to have to focus on the younger guys and help them come along like older guys did for me."

1 – Devon Torrence
6-1, 200
Canton (Ohio) South
Career: A fantastic athlete, Torrence also has played minor league baseball in the Houston Astros organization. He was a receiver in 2007, making four catches, before switching sides for his sophomore campaign. After making 10 stops that season, he stayed in Columbus and worked at football, which paid off when he became the starter last year despite splitting time early with Andre Amos. Torrence finished with 35 tackles, a sack, two picks and two forced fumbles.

Standout Performances: Forced a fumble vs. Michigan State in 2008 that was returned for a touchdown. … Made eight tackles with a sack vs. USC in 2009. … Made an end-zone interception, forced a fumble and made seven stops in the win at Michigan.

Outlook: Torrence had a solid first year as a starter, but expectations are higher in 2010. Some observers said he had a rough spring but Torrence should serve the Buckeyes as a steady player opposite Chekwa.

Player Comment: "I have high expectations for myself. I've been working at the field corner. That's really the corner that a lot of receivers go to, and they put their primary receiver there, so hopefully I can wrap up that side. I'm expecting myself this year to break on a lot more passes, hopefully have a lot more interceptions and just be a leader for my defense this year and make a lot more plays."

18 – Travis Howard
6-0, 190
Miami Krop
Career: Ohio State fans thought they got a steal when Howard signed up as a class of 2008 member from Florida. After redshirting that first campaign, Howard played in nine games last year with two tackles.

Outlook: Reports always seem to be good on Howard, who will be in contention for playing time as a third corner this year. He's had to wait his turn thus far but is talked about as a good cover corner.

30 – Donnie Evege
5-11, 180
Huber Heights (Ohio) Wayne
Career: Evege redshirted in 2007 and didn't play much in '08, but last year was his year on special teams. Evege made 14 tackles and was once the special teams player of the week (vs. New Mexico State).

Outlook: Evege has good speed and is a spirited competitor, which explains his special teams success a season ago. He's also stuck his nose into the corner battle and worked into the two deep.

Teammate Comment: "That's my dude. He's getting a lot of good breaks on the balls this year. I think he's finally getting confident in himself and his game. People don't understand, at cornerback there's really an art to the position. To understand all the details, it takes a long time. He's finally starting to pick it up and understand the position a little better." – Torrence

3 – Corey Brown
6-0, 189
Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway
Career: Brown was a four-star player coming out of high school and boasts long arms and an athletic body. He redshirted in 2009.

Outlook: Brown has been compared to Jenkins at times because of his body, but he's still getting used to being a corner after being a versatile high school player. He figures to play special teams this year because of the talent above him, but Brown did get to play with the second team in spring.

Coach Comment: "He's progressed a ton. You have to remember, he hasn't played a lot of corner. With a body like he has with the long arms and big hands, if he does a good job of just using his feet and using his limbs, he'll be OK. He's really done a good job of taking coaching and studying." – cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson

28 – Dominic Clarke
5-10, 191
Frederick (Md.) Tuscarora
Career: Like Brown, Clarke was a four-star prospect who took a redshirt a season ago.

Outlook: Clarke has been hit-or-miss in some OSU practice sessions – and seems to hear about it from the vocal Johnson – but he boasts sprinters' speed and has a strong work ethic. He seems like another special teams player in 2010.

Coach Comment: "He's got loose hips. He probably has the loosest hips in the room. He can do a lot of things to make up because he has great hips." – Johnson

2 – Christian Bryant
5-9, 170
Cleveland Glenville
Career: Bryant did it all at Cleveland Glenville, all the way down to punting and kicking. A four-star prospect, he finished his prep career by being named his league's offensive player of the year while making 82 tackles and five interceptions on defense. He also played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the Ohio North-South All-Star Classic and the Big 33 Classic.

Outlook: Bryant is simply a football player. He knows how to play the game and is a great athlete to boot, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see him have a good camp and earn playing time of some sort come September.

Coach Comment: "We're very excited about this young man. He brings a wealth of knowledge. He does a great job in the classroom learning the game. He's a student of the game. Great family. He's a tremendous athlete and he brings another physical presence for us. He has a lot of pop when he comes up to strike opponents. He's very fast." – Johnson

25 – Bradley Roby
5-11, 176
Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge
Career: Roby ended up at OSU after first committing to Vanderbilt, and he attended the same high school as senior lineman Cameron Heyward. There, he was a versatile player who caught 29 passes and made 42 tackles with six picks as a senior. On the year, he posted 11 touchdowns – five on receptions, two on punt returns and one each on a rush, a kick return, a fumble return and an interception.

Outlook: A three-star prospect, Roby is best described in Scout's evaluation as an athlete. OSU is going to try him at corner first and see what happens.

Coach Comment: "We put him at corner because we felt he had the intangibles to be a very good corner. Coach (Bill) Ballard, his high school coach, went back and put him at corner all year and the kid fell in love with the position. His recruitment started to open back up with a lot of schools because he was a corner." – safeties coach Paul Haynes

9 – Adam Griffin
5-7, 178
Columbus DeSales
Career: The son of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, the younger Griffin excelled for DeSales' state runner-up team as a senior. He piled up 940 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing and also had 47 tackles with two interceptions.

Outlook: Many say Adam, like they did about his father, is too small to play at the collegiate level, but he is known as a good athlete with a very strong body. A late addition to OSU's class of 2010, Griffin is thought of as a project.

Coach Comment: "He will add a great deal to our football family on the field, in the locker room and on our campus. Adam clearly understands the privilege of being an Ohio State Buckeye." – head coach Jim Tressel

29 Taylor Rice (6-2, 215): A Dublin Scioto product, Rice has often looked good in drills for the Buckeyes and had an interception in the spring game.

Committed for 2011 DerJuan Gambrell, Toledo Rogers, 6-2, 180; Scout's No. 20 CB in 2011. Gambrell looks like the big corner the Buckeyes haven't had in awhile, and he's got plenty of athleticism to go with his size.

2011 Prospects Doran Grant, 5-10, 177, Akron St. Vincent-St. Mary, Scout's No. 2 CB in 2011. Dondi Kirby, 6-3, 190, Monroeville (Pa.) Gateway, Scout's No. 8 CB in 2011. Jabari Gorman, 5-11, 175, Miami Pace, Scout's No. 35 CB in 2011.

Top 2012 ProspectsAllen Gant, 6-2, 198, Sylvania Southview; Terry Richardson, 5-9, 155, Detroit Cass Tech.

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