Big Ten rankings: No. 9, Bradley Roby

We're counting down our rankings of the Top 25 players in the Big Ten for the 2013 season. This list is based on past performance and potential for the upcoming season only. We do not consider NFL potential for purposes of these rankings.

We began the Top 10 yesterday with one of the best cornerbacks around, and we can say the same thing about No. 9 ...

No. 9: Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State, junior, 5-foot-11, 192 pounds

2012 postseason ranking: No. 16

2012 numbers: Had 63 tackles, including one sack, along with two interceptions and 17 pass breakups.

Why he's here: Roby staked his claim as the top cornerback in college football last season, leading the FBS in passes defended per game and earning first-team ESPN.com All-America honors. He was a semifinalist for the Thorpe Award last year and has said he intends to win it this season before turning pro.

You need confidence to play corner, and Roby certainly doesn't lack that. This spring, he told me he really wanted to return kicks for the Buckeyes, in part because "if I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing [at corner] and people are not throwing my way, I'll get bored. I'm just out there. So I've got to diversify my role so I'm locked in, because if I get bored, I start getting lazy."

When Roby will start the season for the Buckeyes remains up in the air. He was charged with misdemeanor battery last month for allegedly striking a bouncer in the chest while in Bloomington, Ind. Head coach Urban Meyer has yet to announce whether Roby will be suspended for any games, though the star defensive back has been practicing with the second team this preseason. At least a one-game benching could be in store for Roby.

Whenever he gets back in the lineup, Roby will make the Buckeyes defense much stronger by locking down his area of the field. And watching him do his thing will almost never be boring.

The countdown

No. 25: Jonathan Brown, LB, Illinois

No. 24: Mark Weisman, RB, Iowa

No. 23: James White, RB, Wisconsin

No. 22: Melvin Gordon, RB, Wisconsin

No. 21: John Urschel, G, Penn State

No. 20: Tyler Scott, DE, Northwestern

No. 19: Jack Mewhort, OT, Ohio State

No. 18: Deion Barnes, DE, Penn State

No. 17: Kenny Bell, WR, Nebraska

No. 16: Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin

No. 15: Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota

No. 14: Kain Colter, QB, Northwestern

No. 13: Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska

No. 12: Spencer Long, G, Nebraska

No. 11: Devin Gardner, QB, Michigan

No. 10: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State