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Buckeyes topped by Iowa in national ranking of best safety units

Spencer-Holbrookby:Spencer Holbrook05/17/24


COLUMBUS — Ohio State returns Lathan Ransom for his fifth season at safety. The Buckeyes brought former Alabama superstar Caleb Downs in to start alongside the veteran Ransom.

It’s still not enough for the Buckeyes to be named the top safety room in college football.

Nope. That title belongs to Iowa, according to On3 national reporter Jesse Simonton, who is capping off his series of ranking the 10 best at each position group in college football.

Simonton named Iowa as the top safety room in the country. He has the Buckeyes at No. 2. The top two are followed by Georgia, Notre Dame, Penn State, USC, Iowa State, Oregon, Alabama and Texas to round out the top 10.

As for the No. 2 Buckeyes, here’s what Simonton said about the Ohio State safety room:

The Buckeyes have the top cornerback trio in the country, and their safety room is among best in the nation, too with the offseason addition of former Alabama transfer Caleb Downs. The former 5-star emerged as one of the best defensive backs in the sport as a freshman in 2023, leading Alabama with 70 tackles while adding two interceptions and a punt return touchdown. 

Downs will be paired with senior Lathan Ransom, a multi-year starter who has struggled to stay healthy at times. If there’s a concern for Ohio State, it’s a lack of depth. Ja’Had Carter transferred to NC State and Sonny Styles moved to linebacker full-time. If Ransom is sidelined again for any time, OSU would have to turn to a couple of redshirt freshmen or move Jordan Hancock over from his nickel spot.

Jesse Simonton, On3

Ohio State topped Simonton’s defensive end/EDGE rankings and cornerback rankings earlier this week. The Buckeyes did not, however, show up in the top 10 linebacker units rankings.

The Buckeyes were heavily featured in Simonton’s offensive position group rankings.

The Ohio State offensive line unit appeared in Simonton’s “Best of the Rest” category, just missing the Top 10. LSU, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma State were in Simonton’s top five. Oregon, Missouri, Miami, Tennessee and Ole Miss rounded out the Top 10 in the offensive line rankings.

Ohio State could improve to get into the Top 10 as the offseason continues.

That ranking continued the showing that Ohio State should have one of the best — if not the best — offenses in the sport this upcoming fall. Simonton recently ranked the Ohio State quarterback room as the second-best in the country, behind only Texas, and he ranked the Buckeyes tailback room as the No. 1 unit in the country.

He also made sure to rank the Ohio State wide receiver unit as the top group in college football as well. He did not, however, have the Buckeyes tight end room ranked in his list of the best tight end groups in the country.

None of this should come as a surprise. But as the season continues to draw closer, the buzz keeps growing for this Ohio State team that could be the No. 1 team in the country when preseason polls begin leaking out.

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