Sophomore Armani Reeves will start in place of suspended All-American cornerback Bradley Roby in Ohio State's Aug. 31 opener against Buffalo.
Reeves (5-feet-10, 197 pounds), from the Boston area, played in six games as a true freshman last season, mostly on special teams, finishing with two tackles. He missed the other six games with a knee injury.
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He and junior Doran Grant (5-11, 191), who played in all 12 games last season with one start, will be the first-team cornerbacks against Buffalo. Grant was expected to start, but Reeves had to beat out true freshmen Eli Apple and Cam Burrows for his spot.
Cornerback coach Kerry Coombs was complimentary of Reeves when talking to reporters after Monday's practice.
"Incredible offseason, great spring, works really hard, understands the game, very committed, very focused," Coombs said. "He still has to play. We still have to find out on the 31st. But he's going to line up and he's going to play, and I'm excited to see him play, to be honest with you."
Roby, considered the best cornerback in the nation by numerous analysts, has been suspended for his role in a July altercation outside a bar in Bloomington, Ind. He is expected back for Game 2 against San Diego State, though coach Urban Meyer has said the suspension could last more than one game.