As the Ohio State football team prepares for its opener at Indiana next Saturday there is one surprise player that might have a breakout 2023.
The Ohio State football team and its coaching staff have been waiting to see what a healthy Jordan Hancock would look like at corner. The Buckeye coaching staff was extremely high on him last Fall camp before a nagging hamstring injury derailed his entire 2022 season. If healthy, the story of the 2022 defense might have been told a little bit differently.
Fast forward to the 2023 Fall camp and Hancock is poised to have a breakthrough season. Fully healthy, Hancock seems to have locked down a starting corner role opposite of Denzel Burke, even though incoming transfer Davison Igbinosun will see plenty of playing time.
Hancock spoke with the media last week and said this about the difference between last season and now for him, via Ohiostatebuckeyes.com:
"“Oh yeah, this is a huge difference. I can tell off my explosiveness, my IQ, just being in with Coach Mick, Coach Walt, they really helped up my game.”"
With Hancock getting back to full health, and having another complete offseason of training and work, he should emerge as a huge weapon for defensive coordinator Jim Knowles in 2023. If Knowles can play single coverage on the outside, that would free him up to dial many different blitz packages and schemes that would make life hard on opposing quarterbacks.
And as the Buckeyes were depending on Hancock in 2022 to start opposite of Burke, the same type of expectation is on display for him this year. The coaching staff has been raving about him for two straight years now. It’s time to see if it can officially translate to the field of play. And I believe it does in a big way.
If Burke and Hancock can be difference-makers at corner this defense is bound to have its best season since the 2019 campaign. I can’t wait to see what a healthy Jordan Hancock looks like for the Silver Bullets.