Most times, the best critique in football comes from someone who plays the game.
ESPN Watch List junior D’Andre Payne (Washington, D.C./Woodson) took an unofficial visit to Penn State and saw Ohio State beat the Nittany Lions 35-23. A group that has come under fire recently, the Buckeyes’ secondary played well in the eyes of the 5-foot-9, 169-pound cornerback.
While Ohio State did give up 327 yards to quarterback Matt McGloin, for the most part it kept Penn State in check, giving up two touchdowns through the air, with one coming in the last two minutes of the game.
“I think they did really well last night,” Payne said. “That secondary did great. The defense played well the entire game.”
The one playmaker Payne was impressed with was cornerback Bradley Roby, who had 5 tackles and 4 pass breakups in the win.
“Bradley Roby, he made a whole lot of plays, key plays, last night,” Payne said. “They tried to go up top on him and he was there. They tried to do a couple short routes on him, too, and he was there.”
While the defense played a big role in Payne’s eyes, so did the offense, as the capital city recruit walked away feeling good about Ohio State and the team’s future.
“The offense struggled, but the defense was there in the first half,” Payne said. “That offense came back and made the adjustments.
“Braxton Miller was just killing Penn State. I kind of expected them to be how they were in the first half, but after that they really got the ball rolling and started getting better and better. They started playing Ohio State football.”
Payne has more than 30 Division I offers as his team enters the playoffs, with five of those offers coming from Big Ten programs.