Doran Grant Will Have a Breakout Year for Buckeyes in 2013

Austin KempAnalyst IJanuary 18, 2013

COLUMBUS, OH - SEPTEMBER 22:  Doran Grant #12 of the Ohio State Buckeyes celebrates after intercepting a pass during the fourth quarter against the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers on September 22, 2012 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State defeated UAB 29-15. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

At the cornerback position for Ohio State, Bradley Roby gets all the accolades, and rightfully so. However, on the other side of the field the Buckeyes have a player poised to break out and have a huge 2013 season: 

Doran Grant. 

Ever heard of him?  If you haven't, read on; Grant could be a household name next season as he fills the lone void in the Buckeyes secondary.  

As a sophomore last season, Grant gained solid playing time, even earning a start in which he recorded a sack, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.  The Ohio native also lettered his freshman year, earning playing time in all 13 games.  Remember, he and Travis Howard were neck and neck through fall camp for the final cornerback spot last year.  With a full offseason under his belt, the projected starter should mature into a leader on a young defense.

For Ohio State to be successful as a unit, Grant will need to step up and play to his full potential.  At 5’11", 190 pounds, there’s no question that he has the physical tools to match up with any receiver in the nation. 

His speed, though, is impressive as well.  In high school, Grant was the state champion in the 110 meter hurdles.  You can't coach speed, but the Buckeyes will have plenty of it on both sides of the defense.    

With offenses likely to stay away from Roby, a potential preseason All-American, Grant will have to be called upon early and often to make plays.  A number of opportunities should present themselves to Grant over the the first few games with San Diego State and a new look Cal team being on the schedule.  Cal, as you recall, gave Ohio State a heck of a game early last season.  

For those of you who aren’t familiar with the offseason schedule, there are only a couple short months until spring practice kicks off, during which you’ll see that Grant is for real and could join Roby to form the top cornerback duo in the nation.

While Ohio State was in the process of adjusting to a new scheme early last season, we saw lapses in the secondary.

Fast forward a year, and the unit is now an experienced bunch.  Christian Bryant and C.J. Barnett return at the safety positions, and with Roby and Grant on the corners, the Ohio State secondary will be down right nasty.  

Good luck finding success through the air on the Buckeyes in 2013.