Bradley Roby will be a third-year starter and leader of the 2013 Ohio State Buckeyes. With a breakout season in 2012, earning All-Big Ten honors and being named Second Team All-American, could the Heisman Trophy be in sight for the lockdown corner of the Buckeyes?
“I believe I can win it,” Roby told CBSSports.com’s Dennis Dodd.
This is certainly the confidence you want from a veteran player, preferably your best cornerback. However, is the Heisman Trophy a realistic possibility for a player who just stays on the defensive side of the ball? The general consensus would be no, but there are things that Bradley Roby can do to put himself into the discussion.
First off, a repeat from last season’s pass breakups in a must. Averaging 1.73 pass defended per game in 2012, which was most in the nation, Roby proved that yards through the air would be hard to come by. He added two interceptions as well, and in order to be put in the Heisman discussion that number will need to rise.
There is a problem, though. With Roby having the success as he did last year, offensive coordinators are surely to stay away from 5'11" corner. With that said, Roby will need to take advantage of every pass thrown his way this upcoming season.
To have a shot at winning the Heisman Trophy, Roby will need to step up in another area that he isn't accustomed to in his years as a Buckeye. This could mean delivering some huge plays in the special teams department.
Throughout spring practice over the past month, Roby was spotted catching punts and kickoffs. The kickoff part shouldn’t come as a shocker. Remember, as the season progressed last year, we saw Bradley make appearances on the kickoff return unit.
With Roby's recorded 40 time of 4.31, his speed could be a lethal weapon. It would take four or five return TD's, along with outstanding defensive play, to get Roby any kind of recognition for college football’s top individual trophy.
Then there’s the gigantic “what if” scenario to the idea of Roby becoming a two-way player and getting into the offensive game plan. This idea certainly isn’t foreign, with him saying during fall camp last season, “I always tell the coaches I can play receiver too...One of these days, they’re going to put me on the other side.”
Could this season be the year No. 1 makes a move to the offensive side as well? That may be his only shot at earning a chance to win the Heisman Trophy. Sure, it’s fun to think about and speculate, but by being a defensive-only player, it would be hard to win the award. Roby is athletic enough to succeed anywhere he lines up on the field, he just needs to be given the opportunity. If so, he could be one to watch as the season goes on.
Roby believes he can win it, and I, along with Buckeye Nation, believe in him too.