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Cornerback Marshon Lattimore Headed for the NFL
By Tony Gerdeman

COLUMBUS — The Buckeyes lost their second starting cornerback to the NFL in a matter of days as redshirt sophomore Marshon Lattimore declared his intentions to enter the 2017 NFL Draft on Wednesday.

Lattimore finished the 2016 season with 41 tackles and four interceptions, one of which he returned for a touchdown. He was named First-Team All-Big Ten for his efforts. He was also named the Walter Camp defensive player of the week following his two-interception performance against Tulsa early in the season.

He announced his decision via Twitter.

After missing his true freshman season due to hamstring issues, Lattimore was healthy at the start of his redshirt freshman season, but was eventually lost for the second half of the season due to recurring leg issues. 

Lattimore approached the 2016 season with care (and yoga) and it resulted in a fantastic season that has seen him rated by some as the top cornerback prospect in the draft. In fact, ESPN's Todd McShay projects him to go No. 5 overall.

Lattimore was part of an Ohio State pass defense that finished No. 3 in the nation in efficiency, No. 4 in interceptions (21), and No. 4 in touchdowns allowed (11).

Along with Lattimore, the Buckeyes have also lost starting cornerback Gareon Conley early to the NFL Draft. Replacing one of them was going to be a tall order, but replacing two of them is going to put some significant pressure on cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.

The Buckeyes do look to be bringing in three 5-star cornerbacks in Shaun Wade, Jeffrey Okudah, and junior college transfer Kendall Sheffield, as well as 4-star prospects Marcus Williamson and Amir Riep. Those players will be in the mix along with redshirt freshman Wayne Davis, and sophomores Darmon Arnette, Rodjay Burns and Joshua Norwood. Having rising junior Denzel Ward back as well is key as he will likely hold down one starting spot in 2017.

Next year will be a very interesting year for a Buckeye secondary with tons of question marks. Maybe even as many questions as the 2016 secondary had at this time a year ago.

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