Leroy Roker Ohio State Buckeyes Safety

Closer Look: Safety Leroy Roker Can Cover Ground And Receivers

Ohio State didn’t offer safety Leroy Roker until October of last year. Four days after that offer, he was taking an official visit. Eight days after that offer, he committed to the Buckeyes. Ranked the No. 88 safety in the 2024 recruiting class and the No. 834 player nationally in the 247Sports Composite, Roker signed with Ohio State over offers from Miami, Iowa, and others.

As a senior last year at Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers, Florida, Roker posted 54 tackles and seven interceptions. He also participated in track and basketball. He was a career 16-point-per-game scorer on the hardwood.

What To Like

Well, if you’re going to sign a safety, you want him to be able to cover ground and make plays. In the clips below, you can see Leroy Roker (6-1 175) doing that. The quarterback play is not stellar, but it’s good to see Roker taking advantage of the situation.

Roker’s experience on offense comes into play when the ball is in the air, and especially when it ends up in his hands. Basically, the play doesn’t end simply with the interception. He is looking to do more with it.

Roker does a good job of reading the quarterback and moving with him. He can also quickly change directions to cover his portion of the field.

The Potential

There is obviously a lot to learn at the safety position, but Leroy Roker looks to have the athleticism aspect down already. The physical foundation is there, at the very least. Now they build on it.

Roker has a history of playmaking, and while college is much different than high school, it’s much more likely for that history to continue than to suddenly come out of nowhere. Roker has a level of comfort and confidence on the field — both with the ball in his hand and without — that results in big plays.

The Expectations

The Buckeyes brought in two safeties in the 2024 recruiting class. Jaylen McClain was the other safety, but he is a bit ahead right now because he enrolled early. He was playing with the twos at free safety this spring, which may push Leroy Roker to strong safety just for completion’s sake.

The positions are ideally interchangeable, and the good news is that Roker has the physicality to play closer to the line of scrimmage. The safety depth has been gutted by graduation and transferring. The Buckeyes are still in the market for a transfer safety to replace departed transfer safety Ja’Had Carter.

Like most true freshman, Roker should have some time to grow before he is called upon. And not arriving until June is going to set that clock back even more.

The Bottom Line

The Buckeyes should not be asking much from Leroy Roker this year, but they’re certainly not going to stop him from giving what he’s got. Ohio State has some depth issues at safety, but a guy like sophomore Malik Hartford can be the No. 2 at either free safety behind Caleb Downs or strong safety behind Lathan Ransom.

Injuries have been a part of the Ohio State safety room for years now. If the 2024 season isn’t any different, Roker could be called upon earlier than expected. The good news is that he is a versatile safety who has the skill set to line up just about anywhere.

As with most freshman, however, he will likely get his first action on special teams.

Previous Closer Look Editions

Quarterback Will Howard | Running Back Quinshon Judkins | Tight End Will Kacmarek | Center Seth McLaughlin | Linebacker Payton PierceSafety Caleb Downs

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