- Austin Ward, ESPN Staff Writer
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Urban Meyer still will have his chance to deliver a verdict on his star cornerback for his arrest last month in an Indiana bar, and the Ohio State Buckeyes coach may well opt to send a strong message to his team by tacking on a suspension for Roby ahead of the opener against Buffalo on Aug. 31.
But based on precedent Meyer established last summer with Jack Mewhort and Jake Stoneburner, a disorderly conduct charge like Roby has now instead of the battery charge he was initially facing might not be enough to keep him on the sideline. Those same charges weren't enough to keep the two veterans off the field for any game action a year ago.
The Buckeyes may not need their secondary at full strength to beat Buffalo when the chase for a national title begins in two weeks, but if Roby faced discipline that spilled over into the following couple games, a defense that will lean heavily on the experience and talent of its defensive backs could be strained by a tough San Diego State team or during a long road trip west to play at California.
Instead, Roby is likely to be right back in his familiar spot on the first unit, flashing the speed and cover skills that make him one of the premier cornerbacks in the country and a potential first-round draft pick next spring. While the Buckeyes have perhaps put together a plan for life without Roby for a few weeks by stripping him of his starting role during camp and working him out with the backups, they might again be able to scrap that now and focus on the original blueprint.
The final call, obviously, belongs to Meyer. But the facts of the case now have certainly cleared the path for Roby to pick up where he left off a year ago without missing a beat.
1dJosh Moyer and Dan Murphy