COLUMBUS — Ohio State All-American cornerback Bradley Roby will forgo his senior season to enter the NFL Draft, coach Urban Meyer announced Wednesday.
Meyer said Roby will be honored with the Buckeyes’ 18 seniors before Saturday’s home finale against Indiana.
Roby, a fourth-year junior who entertained leaving for the NFL after last season, is widely projected as a first- or second-round pick.
Roby, a 5-11, 192-pounder from Suwanee, Ga., has 155 tackles in 33 games for the Buckeyes, with seven tackles for a loss, eight interceptions, one blocked kick, a fumble recovery and a fumble caused.
In confirming Roby would give up his final year of eligibility, Meyer said it was too much to ask players these days to give five years to their college career.
Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten), No. 3 in the BCS rankings, is seeking a school-record 23rd consecutive win against the Hoosiers (4-6, 2-4).
Meyer declined to say if other players were leaving a year early for the draft.
“We talked and he’s going to go and move on,” Meyer added. “That’s all you ask. You don’t ask for five years nowadays. … It’s no secret. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s great for him, great for Ohio State.”
BUCKEYES BUZZ: This is Meyer’s 12th year as a head coach and before that, he was on staff for 15 years at Ohio State, Illinois State, Colorado State and Notre Dame.
So it stands to reason that along the way, both on the field and at coaches’ meetings and conventions, he has met a lot of people.
Once again this week, Meyer will encounter someone he knows quite well when No. 4 Ohio State hosts Indiana (3:30 p.m.).
Hoosiers third-year head coach Kevin Wilson is about the same age as Meyer and their careers have run for about the same span. Like Meyer, Wilson is considered an offensive-oriented coach who loves the spread. Wilson has an assistant at North Carolina, Winston-Salem State, North Carolina A&T, Miami (Ohio), Northwestern and Oklahoma — usually coordinating the offense — since 1984.
So the coaches know each other and have taken note of what each other has done in past jobs. Now, this week, they’re paying particular attention to each other’s teams.
“There is a physical presence and I think that’s a sign of really good teams,” Wilson said of the Buckeyes’ attack. “When we’ve had that on our team, we’ve been a good offense and played better defense. We haven’t had our physical presence and haven’t played the run well. We struggled. So the way they do it, they’ve had a run threat. They are going out in space, with fast guys, and they delivered the mail pretty good. So it’s a very good offense.”
Wilson is particularly enamored with Ohio State QB Braxton Miller.
He hears negative things about him but doesn’t give them much credence.
“Braxton is a tremendous runner for a quarterback,” Wilson added. “Now a lot of guys say the guy can’t throw. I mean, his passing percentage (this year) is 68 percent.”
The Buckeyes are also wary of the Hoosiers, who rang up 49 points on Ohio State a year ago but still lost 52-49.
“They’re talented at the skill positions. Coach Wilson does an unbelievable job with the offense,” Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Everett Withers said. “It’s the same offense he ran when he was at Oklahoma, when I was at Texas. It’s high-tempo so he tries to limit what you can play defensively. It’s a big challenge for us but it’s not much different than what our offense does. So we do have some familiarity with the speed part of it.”
LACKING EFFORT: Meyer was stunned a year ago that he thought the Buckeyes did not play hard after getting a big lead on Indiana.
“That was one of the first times I’ve ever seen our guys have an effort problem here,” he said. “That was not a comfortable Sunday when we all came back in here. People make mistakes in football all the time. As a matter of fact, you make probably more mistakes than you make great plays. But lack of effort is something that is just not tolerated. That is the only time I can remember (thinking), ‘Wait a minute, that guy’s not trying. What’s the problem here? Let’s get that fixed.’ Fortunately we got it fixed.”
COMING HOME: There are 17 native Ohioans on the Indiana roster. For comparison’s sake, the Buckeyes have only two former Indianans: DL Joel Hale (Greenwood) and RB Rod Smith (Fort Wayne).
DOMINATION: Ohio State has won the last 17 meetings with Indiana — and that’s still not its longest streak in the series. The Buckeyes did not lose to the Hoosiers from 1952-86, going 31-0-1 and winning the last 23.
EASING BACK: Even though Ohio State beat Illinois 60-35 last week, the approach this week by almost everyone has been that there are plenty of things on which to work.
The Buckeyes led 28-0 midway through the second quarter, yet the Illini pulled within two touchdowns three times after that.
“I don’t think we ever thought that that game was out of control or we were going to lose,” center Corey Linsley said. “Maybe part of that was because our expectation going into the game was to win it and we weren’t surprised that we were up that much. But we went back to our old ways and sort of let up going into halftime and in the third quarter.”
Meyer and the rest of the Buckeyes added they must learn that once they’ve got a team down they need to put them away. That will undoubtedly be mentioned this week in practice.