Buckeyes place lockdown cornerback on Jim Thorpe watch list

Pete Nakosabout 2 months
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Sevyn Banks By Birm-Lettermen Row
Sevyn Banks is poised for a huge season this season at Ohio State. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

COLUMBUS — Sevyn Banks has the potential to be one of the top defensive backs in the nation this season.

Ever since he arrived on the scene as freshman with his special-teams touchdown against Michigan, the expectation has been for him to be a star in the Ohio State secondary. Late last season, he emerged as the top lockdown performer for the Buckeyes at cornerback. And while he did miss this spring recovering from injury, he’s still expected to be the team’s starting cornerback against Minnesota on Sept. 2.

Banks could’ve declared for the NFL Draft after last season. Instead, he’s back in Columbus, working to continue the Buckeyes streak of having every starting cornerback drafted since 2013. That’s why he landed on the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list on Monday morning. The award is presented to the nation’s top defensive back.

Sevyn Banks-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Football

Sevyn Banks emerged as a top cornerback for Ohio State last year. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

“I wasn’t surprised — but I know he was torn, obviously, declaring versus staying,” Jones (Orlando, Fla.) defensive backs coach Andrew Anderson told Lettermen Row in January. “If he could do both, that’s what he would do because he loves Ohio State. He loves it there. He’s had a great experience there. I know if he could split himself in half, he would love to do both of them. But I wasn’t surprised because he loves the staff, his teammates, the Ohio State environment.

“Everything is a great possibility for him that he can accomplish, even the draft status of the NFL, first round. I think he’s going to do it. I think he’s going to perform well. He’s all about trying to fix what he considers his weaknesses, areas he messes up. He’s always trying to strengthen himself. And again, he’s coachable. When you have that kind of guy, the sky is the limit.”

Sevyn Banks appeared on multiple NFL mock drafts this spring, even surfacing in gambling odds as a possible No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. But he chose to stay in Columbus for another season to boost his draft stock. He wants to continue the Buckeyes streak of having every starting cornerback drafted since 2013 and improve from last season’s disappointment in the national championship game in the process.

All that earns the defensive back a spot on the Jim Thorpe Award watch list.