Nov 12, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes safety Josh Proctor (41) and wide receiver Jayden Ballard (9) celebrate a tackle on a kickoff during the first half of the NCAA football game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Cairns-The Columbus Dispatch

Ohio State Buckeyes safety Josh Proctor is eschewing the 2023 NFL Draft and returning to the team for a sixth season.

“Super excited about Josh returning!” Buckeyes secondary coach Perry Eliano texted the Columbus Dispatch to confirm the news. “He’s a great teammate, phenomenal athlete, and there are TEAM and individual goals that he wants to accomplish with his brothers!”

Proctor, a 6-2, 205-pound safety, is a former four-star prospect from Oklahoma. He was honored as a fifth-year senior on Senior Day before the program’s annual rivalry game against the Michigan Wolverines.

Proctor is eligible for a sixth season at Ohio State due to 2020’s COVID-shortened season.

Proctor opened the last two seasons as a starter for Ohio State before being replaced both times. In 2021, Proctor broke his leg in the second game of the season against the Oregon Ducks. In 2022, Proctor missed a tackle early against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish that led to a 54-yard gain and was promptly replaced by Lathan Ransom.

According to Pro Football Focus, Proctor played 192 defensive snaps in 2022. Almost all were on special teams.

Ohio State figures to be one of the best teams in the nation again next season. The Buckeyes open the 2023 season on Sept. 2nd against the Indiana Hoosiers. The Buckeyes will make their season’s home debut the following week against the Youngstown State Penguins.

[Columbus Dispatch]