Clarke Won’t Make Trip to Illinois
By Brandon Castel
COLUMBUS, Ohio — With everything that has gone wrong for Ohio State this season, what’s one more suspension to add to the mix?
OSU Head Coach Luke Fickell announced Thursday that cornerback Dominic Clarke would not make the trip to Champaign, Ill. this week with the rest of his teammates.
Photo by Dan Harker
“We will not have the services of Dominic Clarke this week,” Fickell said during his Thursday press conference.
“He is involved in a University rules violation. It is in the University rules and the University’s hands with campus things. It is my decision that we will not have him this week.”
According to Ohio State police reports, the redshirt sophomore out of Frederick, Md. was cited for disorderly conduct on Sunday following an on-campus incident at the Market Place on Neil Avenue.
He is scheduled to be arraigned Monday.
“He’s very remorseful. It’s just a little thing that happened on campus,” Fickell said.
“To be honest with, Dominic is a great kid. He’s done everything right. He’s an all-academic all-Big Ten guy. We’re going to get through this and let the University handle this and hope that he’ll be ready for the following week.”
The 5-10, 191-pound Clarke started the first two games of the season while Travis Howard was serving his suspension. He played incredibly well in those two games, but has since been reserved to the No. 3 cornerback spot behind Howard and redshirt freshman Bradley Roby.
With Clarke not making the trip, true freshman Doran Grant becomes the defacto No. 3 corner this week, but the Buckeyes will shuffle some things around in their secondary to accommodate for the loss.
“Well, Doran Grant will be the guy who steps up, but Corey Brown will go back over and probably play a little more corner for us,” Fickell said Thursday.
“That’s Corey “Pittsburgh” Brown. He was a corner and then he kind of moved to safety late in the season last year, so he’ll probably be filling in for us.”
The redshirt sophomore out of Monroeville, Pa. was actually suspended for the first two games of the season along with Howard and running back Jordan Hall. He came to the Buckeyes as a 5-star prospect in the class of 2009, but struggled to find a true fit on defense.
He played some corner and then moved to safety last fall and was just starting to play well when he suffered a season-ending knee injury. Brown sat out the spring, but returned to full-form in the fall and quickly worked his way up the depth chart.
Before the suspension was handed down, Brown was working in the two-deep and was considered to be the No. 4 safety behind C.J. Barnett, Orhian Johnson and Christian Bryant.
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