Kendall Sheffield didn’t come to Ohio State to provide depth, he came to Ohio State to see the field early and often. Based on his spring performance so far, he has been everything the Buckeye coaches had hoped he would be. Maybe even a little more.
After just two weeks of practice, the redshirt sophomore junior college transfer had his black stripe removed. That’s indicative of a quick acclimation to the requirements of being a Buckeye.
Sheffield is one of four new cornerbacks enrolled for the spring, but the other three — Shaun Wade, Jeffrey Okudah, and Marcus Williamson — are all true freshmen, and so he was expected to be a little bit ahead of the rest of the group of newcomers. His experience has helped him jump out in front, and his play on the field is keeping him there.
“Just by nature of having experience at a couple of other places, I think that gives you a little bit of an edge when you walk into the meeting rooms and things like that,” said cornerbacks coach Kerry Coombs.
A former 5-star prospect in high school, talent was never a question. Coming from Blinn College, however, there was some question about how quickly Sheffield could adapt to life at Ohio State.
On Wednesday, Urban Meyer made it known how well that adaptation has gone.
“He’s in the rotation right now,” he said. “Kendall Sheffield is ahead of the three freshman corners who are already here, which you would expect just because he’s an older veteran guy that’s been out of high school for two years.”
The Buckeyes aren’t just looking for two starting cornerbacks, they are looking for at least three. Right now Sheffield is one of those three, along with Denzel Ward and Damon Arnette.
What does he bring to the Ohio State defense?
“Really, really, really talented player,” Coombs said. “Really talented player. I think this — he’s been through camp, he’s been through spring ball. Think about that — those high school kids have never been through this stuff, right? So the advancement is knowing what’s coming a little bit. And he’s a very, very good player, and he’s got the skill set that we need.”