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Ohio State Star Declares For 2023 NFL Draft Ahead Of Michigan Game

Ohio State star Ronnie Hickman

Ohio State star Ronnie Hickman

One of the key contributors to Ohio State's 2022 defensive turnaround has declared for the upcoming NFL Draft. 

Ronnie Hickman, a fourth-year safety for the Buckeyes, announced Tuesday that the upcoming game against Michigan will be his last appearance at "The Shoe." 

"Ronnie Hickman just confirmed Saturday’s game will be his final game at Ohio Stadium. He will enter the 2023 NFL draft after this season," Ohio State beat writer Dan Hope tweeted Tuesday. 

After playing just two games during his redshirt freshman season in 2020, Hickman took over as a full-time safety for the Buckeyes in 2021. 

Appearing in 13 games last season, Hickman recorded 54 solo tackles, one sack, and two interceptions - one of which being a pick-six. 

Taking more snaps at free safety this season under new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, Hickman's individual numbers have seen a slight drop off. However, under Knowles, the Buckeye defense as a whole has seen vast improvements compared to their disappointing 2021 campaign. 

Last season, Ohio State allowed over 366 yards per game defensively and opponents scored, on average, 20.9 points per game against the Buckeyes. 

Through 11 games this year, Knowles' defense is giving up under 284 yards per contest and allowing the 8th fewest points per game (16.9) in the FBS. 

Hickman will look to finish his last home game as a Buckeye on a positive note with a win over No. 3 Michigan on Saturday.