Ransom back to full strength


COLUMBUS — As Ohio State safety Lathan Ransom was writhing in pain on the Rose Bowl turf in January, he couldn’t help but think the worst of thoughts.

Ransom knew immediately that something was very wrong, and a quick glance down at the mangled limb confirmed his fears. In the last game of the season, while covering a kickoff, he had gruesomely broken his leg.

With tears in his eyes, Ransom was carted off the field, ending his 2021 season and leaving the status of his availability for the 2022 season in jeopardy.

“Everybody was just thinking the worst at that moment, and I definitely was,” Ransom said during Tuesday’s interview.

Fast forward seven months and Ransom has rather remarkably returned to full strength for fall camp and is again expected to be a key contributor in the Ohio State secondary. Ransom called the injury the “most traumatizing and worst thing that I have ever experienced” but said he never lost his faith in the support system that surrounded him, both at home and especially in Columbus, on his road to recovery.

“The whole training staff, they’re the reason I made it back,” Ransom said. “I believed in them from the jump. I did everything they asked me to do, and that’s the only reason why I’m where I’m at today.”

Ransom never went home to Arizona following the injury, opting to remain in Columbus and in the training room as often as possible to give himself the best opportunity to return to the field by camp. Of course, despite all his hard work physically, Ransom admitted he had to fight himself mentally to remove the uncertainty that would creep into his thoughts at times.

“There were definitely times when I had my doubts and was nervous and didn’t feel like I’d come back,” he said. “The people in my corner … they all kept my mentality good, which is another reason I’m here today.”

Ransom also had the ability to draw from someone in the same position room who could relate with him wholeheartedly. Safety Josh Proctor suffered his own gruesome leg injury against Oregon last September, an injury that Ransom said was nearly identical to the one he suffered in Pasadena four months later.

“He was definitely helpful,” Ransom said of Proctor. “Because we had the same injury, the recovery process was very similar. A lot of the pains that I had, he had. And then with keeping my mind right, he was definitely helpful.”

Ransom said he felt 100% on the first day of camp earlier this month and doesn’t expect to be limited in any way when Ohio State opens its season next week against Notre Dame. While his status may surprise many who were thinking the worse for Ransom in January, it’s right in line with what he’s worked so diligently toward all offseason.

Asked if he is surprised at all by how much progress he’s made since the injury, Ransom stated, “No, because I know how much work I did behind the scenes.”

Unable to participate physically during spring practice, Ransom said he focused this offseason on becoming a better player mentally and “creating a better understanding of the game.” Under new position coach Perry Eliano and defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, who places an added emphasis on the safety position, Ransom will need it as he jockeys for playing time in a talented-but-crowded safety room.

That he is willing to do whatever he can to see the field suggests Ransom will, indeed, be a prominent fixture in one role or another for the Buckeyes’ secondary.

“I see myself playing any role they ask me to play. I feel I can play any position they ask me to play, and that’s my goal,” he said.

Ohio State safety Lathan Ransom (12) celebrates with his teammates after recording a sack during last year’s game against Penn State at Ohio Stadium.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/08/web1_Ransom-Ohio-State.jpgOhio State safety Lathan Ransom (12) celebrates with his teammates after recording a sack during last year’s game against Penn State at Ohio Stadium. Joshua Keeran | The Gazette

By Dillon Davis

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Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.

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