Caleb Downs Ohio State Buckeyes Safety

Ohio State Transfer Safety Caleb Downs Loses Black Stripe

COLUMBUS — Ohio State sophomore safety Caleb Downs lost his black stripe following practice on Tuesday. He became the third Buckeye of spring camp to have his black stripe removed.

Black stripes are placed down the middle of every newcomer’s helmet, and once they prove their mettle in practice, they can have their stripes removed and be welcomed in as official Buckeyes.

Downs was expected to be one of the first newcomers to lose his black stripe considering his Freshman All-American season last year at Alabama. While freshman wide receiver Jeremiah Smith beat him to the punch last week, Downs is by no means behind the curve.

Losing a black stripe just six practices into a career is rarefied air, which is actually nothing new for Downs. He was one of the best defensive players in the nation last year as a true freshman free safety. He started every game at Alabama in 2023, leading the team with 107 tackles. His 70 solo tackles led all SEC players.

Along with his 107 tackles last year, Downs (6-0 203) also posted 3.5 tackles for loss, four pass breakups, one fumble forced, and one punt return touchdown.

Now at free safety for the Buckeyes, Caleb Downs takes over a spot that was vacated by last year’s starter Josh Proctor. Downs has been viewed by many as the final piece of Ohio State’s defensive puzzle, which wasn’t necessarily missing any pieces to begin with.

Black Stripe Tracker

WR Jeremiah Smith – March 21
WR Brennen Schramm (rFr walk-on) – March 21
SAF Caleb Downs – March 26

Freshmen Still Waiting

QB Air Noland | QB Julian Sayin | RB James Peoples | RB Sam Williams-Dixon | WR Mylan Graham* | TE Max LeBlanc* | TE Damarion Witten* | OL Ian Moore | OL Deonte Armstrong | OL Devontae Armstrong | OL Gabe VanSickel* | DE Eddrick Houston | DL Dominic Kirks* | DT Eric Mensah | LB Payton Pierce | LB Garrett Stover | CB Aaron Scott | CB Bryce West | CB Miles Lockhart | SAF Jaylen McClain | SAF Leroy Roker*

* Not yet enrolled.

Transfers Still Waiting

QB Will Howard | RB Quinshon Judkins | TE Will Kacmarek | OL Seth McLaughlin

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