The No. 3 player on this list has played three different positions on the Ohio State defense, which gives you at least some idea of the versatility that he brings to his unit.
No. 3 Jordan Fuller, Jr. Strong Safety
Jordan Fuller came to Ohio State as a cornerback in the 2016 class. It was not a successful cornerback class for the Buckeyes, as Fuller was joined by Wayne Davis and Kareem Felder. Felder never actually made it to Ohio State and Davis moved to safety after Fuller and then transferred this spring.
Fuller was only at cornerback for a couple of practices before moving to safety during his freshman season. He spent 2016 as the backup to Damon Webb at free safety, and then took over for departed All-American Malik Hooker last year at strong safety.
At 6-foot-2 and 204 pounds, Fuller possesses ideal safety size. He has experience playing both close to the line in man-coverage situations and also being the deep centerfielder and last line of defense.
Fuller was Third-Team All-B1G last year, finishing second on the team with 70 tackles. After getting his feet wet and comfortable last season, expect him to improve upon his two interceptions from 2017.
What He Does Well
In his first go-round as Ohio State’s deep safety last year, Jordan Fuller came away with an interception in the end zone against Indiana to open the season. He also had the game-clinching interception in the fourth quarter against Michigan. Fuller also had a 7-yard tackle for loss against the Wolverines.
Fuller is arguably the best tackler on the Ohio State defense. He rarely missed in one-on-one situations, even against talented players like Penn State running back Saquon Barkley.
I said when it happened that this may have been a game-saver. Jordan Fuller is a very good tackler. pic.twitter.com/05p51BG2OX
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) October 29, 2017
OSU soph safety Jordan Fuller (@j_fuller4) had 57 solo tackles this season, the same number as First-Team All-American Vonn Bell (who played in one more game) in 2014, which is the most by an OSU safety since 3-time All-American Mike Doss in 2002 (65).
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) December 31, 2017
Jordan Fuller in 2018
Fuller played deep safety for the Buckeyes last year and while he wasn’t Malik Hooker, he was still pretty darn effective.
He was moved to free safety in the spring, which pits him in a bunch of one-on-one situations against slot receivers. While we know he can tackle, he will have to show that he can cover. He’s a big safety matching up against smaller receivers. Being closer to the line of scrimmage, however, may lead to a few more tackles this season.
Fuller’s coaches love his understanding of the Ohio State defense, which should allow him to be in the right place at the right time when the need arises.
A tremendous athlete, Fuller will emerge this season as a leader for the Buckeyes. He also has the ability to become an offensive player once he finds the football.
What They Are Saying
“I think Jordan right now as you look at it kind of possesses the physical attributes you look for in a safety both in a size and stature standpoint and the speed and athleticism standpoint. Then the other thing you always bare in mind that you cant see is the guy walking through the door from a mental capability standpoint. He has an understanding of the defense and I’ll use the term that he’s a master of the defense. He can fix issues and he can get other guys right from an alignment and call standpoint, and he has the confidence to do so. And that comes from game reps. But when you add all those things up, the physical tools, the athletic tools and then the mental aptitude, you’re talking about a guy who is an established starter and a guy we’re looking forward to come fall.” — Safeties coach Alex Grinch
“It’s an impressive group of guys. I think they have good speed and good movement skills as you look at it. I think the film suggests that Jordan Fuller can be an elite defensive back in this conference and on a national level, and we’ve got to make sure the rest of the guys respond to the challenges that are put forth in front of them in terms of who’s going to be the two starting safeties and the two safeties behind them, and who’s going to be competing for time come the fall.” — Alex Grinch