Lathan Ransom Ohio State Buckeyes Safety

Lathan Ransom Focused On Finishing Ohio State Legacy

The story of the Ohio State defense last year can be told in two parts. The initial chapters being the eight games in which senior safety Lathan Ransom was able to play. The second half being the final five games of the season in which he was out following a Lisfranc injury to his left foot.

In those first eight games, the Buckeyes went 8-0 and allowed 798 yards rushing (99.8 yards per game). In the five games without him, they went 3-2 and allowed 755 yards rushing (151 yards per game).

As the strong safety in the Ohio State defense, Ransom’s absence was impossible to ignore. That’s one of the reasons the OSU medical staff has been cautious with his recovery.

Ransom was pain free during winter workouts, but he was held out of anything strenuous or physical in spring practice. He understood the rationale and credited OSU physical therapist Adam Stewart with helping him all along the way and speeding up his recovery. Stewart was also there with Ransom when he broke his leg in the Rose Bowl at the end of the 2021 season.

“I’ve been blessed to be around Stew,” Ransom said this spring. “I mean, they told me on my leg injury I was supposed to take, like, eight months, seven months. I came back in like six and a half. And they told me on my foot, I forgot the exact time they gave me, but I’m back a lot faster than they said I was gonna be back. So I’m just blessed to have Stew in my life to make these injuries not so major.”

Ransom was nearly full go in the spring but as a fifth-year senior, the practice reps weren’t as necessary for him as they were for young players.

Instead, he followed orders and did what he could.

“I’m in there participating in a lot of the stuff and competing,” he said. “So I’m just happy to be back on the field with my guys because I wasn’t myself when I wasn’t around football.”

Lathan Ransom watched his teammates lose their final two games of the season, which has stuck with him throughout this latest recovery process. He wasn’t able to contribute on the field, which was a helpless feeling for somebody who has been so involved for so long.

The 2023 season was also supposed to be his last season, but the injury changed so many of his plans.

“It’s definitely hard. Especially when you’ve got goals and aspirations of playing at the next level,” Ransom said. “You’ve got goals and aspirations of playing against the team up north, playing in the Big Ten, playing in a national championship, and you have stuff like that taken away from you, it’s definitely hard. But what makes it easiest is coming here and being around my brothers, being around my teammates, my family, my corner, my mom, my dad, my sister. Having them in my corner that helps support me, man, it helps me a lot.”

Lathan Ransom isn’t the first Buckeye to miss a Michigan game, and he won’t be the last, but that didn’t make things any easier for him.

“It was ridiculously hard,” he said of not being able to play against the Wolverines. “I mean, that was the game. That’s the only game I really wanted to play all year. Like that’s all I thought about. Especially just how the last game ended and me not playing the game I wanted to play. That’s the only game I had circled.”

For all of these reasons, Lathan Ransom decided to use his COVID year and come back for a fifth season. He was not alone in his decision. Ten other teammates decided to do the same thing.

And they all have the same goals.

“I mean, I’m not gonna sit here and lie and tell you like, in the moment, it wasn’t hard. It was definitely hard. But it wasn’t as hard when I realized that me and my brothers didn’t achieve our goals,” he said.

“We have three goals here at Ohio State. Beat the team up north, win the Big Ten, win the national championship. And I still have yet to achieve those goals. So when I sit there and look at the big picture, yeah, the next level, I mean, that’s my all-time dream, but I still haven’t finished my legacy here at Ohio State by achieving those three goals, so it made the decision a lot easier.”

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