Ohio State CB Denzel Ward sits out Cotton Bowl; will not return for senior season


Ohio State junior cornerback Denzel Ward will not play in Friday’s game against USC and he will not return for his senior season with the Buckeyes.

Ohio State says Ward wrestled with the decision to play (or not) throughout the bowl prep practices, leaving open his decision until game day. The univesrity says he practiced, but he also helped the younger players in the program who were getting additional reps at cornerback this past month.

The coaching staff was aware that Denzel’s decision would not be made final until game day. He elected today to sit out.

Ward, in his first season as a starter, was a consensus All-American for the Buckeyes in 2017. He led with team with 15 pass break-ups and 17 total passes defended (two interceptions and 15 PBUs). He also contributed 37 tackles, including 30 solo stops, and a crucial blocked punt that helped rally the Buckeyes to their 39-38 victory over No. 2 Penn State in October. He is from Macedonia, Ohio, and Nordonia High School.