COLUMBUS – Ohio State sophomore cornerback Bradley Roby was named today one of 15 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, given annually to the nation's outstanding defensive back.
One of only two sophomores on the list of semifinalists and the only one from the Big Ten Conference, Roby leads the nation with 18 passes defended, a total that includes a nation's-best 16 pass break-ups and two interceptions.
The 9-0 Buckeyes, ranked sixth this week by the Associated Press, are coming off a 35-23 road victory over a fine Penn State team that had won five consecutive games. Roby had a personal-best four pass break-ups and five solo tackles in the game.
Roby has excelled all season for the Buckeyes as a big-play maker, particularly in Big Ten action.
- He had nine tackles and a blocked punt in the 17-16 win over Michigan State;
- He electrified the crowd and put Ohio State on the scoreboard with a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown, plus had a second interception and a goal line PBU, in the 63-38 win over Nebraska;
- He recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown in the 52-49 win over Indiana; and
- He had four tackles in the overtime win over Purdue.
He also fielded a fumbled punt in the end zone for a touchdown vs. Miami.
Roby's fine play vs. Penn State earned him "champion" recognition not only on the defensive side of the ball by the Ohio State coaches, but on special teams as well. Roby has earned a team-high eight "champion" honors this season for outstanding effort on the field.
Thorpe Award finalists will be named Monday, Nov. 19, and the winner will be announced at the Home Depot College Football Awards Show December 6 airing on ESPN.
Ohio State hosts the Illinois Fighting Illini in a 3:30 p.m. kickoff this Saturday at Ohio Stadium.