According to Bill Rabinowitz of the Columbus Dispatch, Ohio State fifth-year safety Josh Proctor is returning to the Buckeyes for a sixth season. Ohio State safeties coach Perry Eliano confirmed the news to Rabinowitz.
Proctor, who was in his fifth season this past season, missed all but two games in 2021 due to a broken leg, which became a redshirt season for him. Then, with the NCAA granting everybody a free year of eligibility in 2020 because of COVID, Proctor entered the 2022 season with two years of eligibility remaining.
Rather than head to the NFL just yet, he will now use his final year of eligibility in 2023.
Proctor started four games for the Buckeyes at strong safety this past season, including the season opener against Notre Dame. He has actually started the past two season openers.
Proctor missed two games this year, but posted 21 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, and two passes broken up. He missed the third game of the season against Toledo, but returned to the starting lineup for the next two games. He eventually lost his starting job to junior Lathan Ransom. Proctor’s snaps on defense became sparse over the final eight games of the season.
The Buckeyes are losing starting free safety Ronnie Hickman and starting nickel safety Tanner McCalister to the NFL, so any experience returning will be welcomed. Proctor is a rangy, physical defender when healthy and provides defensive coordinator Jim Knowles with options in the secondary.
Buckeyes’ spring practice will begin in early March.