COLUMBUS — Ohio State starting strong safety Lathan Ransom has played every snap for the Buckeye defense this season, but he is officially listed as questionable for Saturday’s game against Western Kentucky.
Given that the Hilltoppers throw the ball more per game (44 attempts) than all but two teams nationally, the Buckeyes missing their top safety would not be a positive turn of events.
Fortunately for Ohio State, starting free safety Josh Proctor is no longer on the availability report. He missed last week’s game against Youngstown State after being listed as questionable.
If Ransom cannot go, defensive coordinator and safeties coach Perry Eliano will likely turn to some combination of Proctor and senior transfer Ja’Had Carter or true freshman Malik Hartford.
Hartford started at free safety last week but was replaced after one series by Carter. It’s unlikely that Hartford would be the option at strong safety in place of Ransom, but Proctor played the position last year and could be the logical fit this week.
There are no other players listed as questionable. The Buckeyes have six players listed as out, including the same five last week, along with freshman defensive end Arvell Reese who was injured in the game against Youngstown State.
Here is the full list of players on this week’s availability report.
SAF Lathan Ransom
WR Kyion Grayes
TE Zak Herbstreit
DE Arvell Reese
DT Will Smith, Jr.
WR Reis Stocksdale
SAF Kourt Williams