Kourt Williams' Ohio State debut will reportedly have to wait until 2021.
According to a report by Lettermen Row's Austin Ward, the freshman safety will miss the entire 2020 season after suffering an ACL injury that will require surgery.
Williams appeared to be one of the top candidates among freshmen to see immediate playing time this fall after he was one of the first two members of the class of 2020 to have his black stripe removed. Williams received a glowing review from Ryan Day for his performance early in camp, with Ohio State's head coach describing Williams as “someone to keep an eye on.”
“A young guy who I think has a chance to be a really, really good player,” Day said last month. “His approach has been excellent. He’s versatile, he can do a lot of things.”
Williams was not seen at Ohio State's practice that was open to the media on Oct. 3, however, and Ohio State safeties coach Matt Barnes said earlier this week that he could not provide an update on Williams' status at that time. Per a policy implemented by Day, Ohio State typically does not comment on player injuries.
The loss of Williams for the season is a hit to the Buckeyes' depth at safety, where Marcus Hooker and Josh Proctor are expected to lead the depth chart but there isn't much experience behind them. Williams, in particular, looked like a strong candidate to play in a box safety/bullet capacity, whether this year or in the future.
Without Williams, fellow freshman Lathan Ransom and redshirt freshman Bryson Shaw are poised to be the next safeties on the depth chart, while redshirt freshman Ronnie Hickman – who's been practicing at slot cornerback – could play there if needed, as well.