According to a report from The Columbus Dispatch, third-year safety Lathan Ransom is expected to return to Ohio State this upcoming season for a fourth year with the Buckeyes.
Ransom’s stock grew considerably this season, beginning the year on the bench before being thrust into action against Notre Dame in the season opener. He took hold of the starting boundary safety job and never relinquished, turning into one of Ohio State’s best defenders, though he had notable losses in the Buckeyes’ back-to-back losses to Michigan and Georgia to end the season.
A semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, given to the best defensive back in college football, Ransom finished the year with 74 tackles – third-most on the team behind linebackers Steele Chambers (77) and Tommy Eichenberg (120) – in addition to 3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, an interception and two blocked punts. His breakout season featured several standout contests, including a trio of nine-tackle outings and an early interception in Ohio State’s win over Michigan State.
His return is a welcome one considering the Buckeyes are losing fellow starting safeties Ronnie Hickman and Tanner McCalister, both of whom have announced they are entering their names into the upcoming NFL Draft. Ransom could remain at boundary safety or shift around the defense as defensive coordinator Jim Knowles’ secondary begins to take shape going into next season.