Ohio State’s Chimdi Chekwa National Defensive Player of the Week

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Ohio State Buckeye Chimdi Chekwa, a Jim Thorpe award candidate (best national defensive back)
and senior corner from Clermont, FL picked off a pair of passes and recorded two pass breakups, while adding six tackles and a tackle for loss to help hold the offense of #12 Miami (Fla.) to only 10 points. For his efforts, Chekwa was named Walter Camp national defensive player of the year and Big Ten defensive player of the week. Michigan QB Denard Robinson took the offensive award in both categories.

By Paul M. Banks

With the Hurricanes leading 7-3 in the second quarter, Chekwa broke up a pass in the end zone to force a field goal. The senior cornerback then recorded both of his interceptions in the last seven minutes of the half. With OSU leading 13-10, Chekwa snagged his first interception to give the hosts the ball at the 19-yard line, which led to a touchdown and a 20-10 lead. With less than a minute left, he picked off his second pass to set up a field goal to give Ohio State a 26-17 halftime advantage. It was the first time an OSU player had two INTs in a game since Kurt Coleman at Michigan in 2009.

Chekwa spoke after the game about facing Miami QB Jacory Harris, one of the most highly heralded QBs in the nation.

“We knew to get a lot of pressure on him. We saw last year that he made a lot of bad decisions where there was a lot of pressure in the pocket and he’d sometimes just throw the ball up for grabs.”

He also spoke about the “silver bullet” defense giving up just one touchdown in the first two games.

“We take a lot of pride in our effort, but we struggled on special teams today. Next week and the week after, expect a better performance from the special teams.”

He recorded 43 tackles, one interception and seven pass break-ups last season and has three INT’s and 20 break-ups in his career. He’s the veteran leader of a defensive backfield that has a ton of talent, and two guys (Chekwa and safety Jermale Hines) who will likely hear their names called on NFL Draft day. Through two weeks of the 2010 season Chekwa has 39 career games under his belt.

Paul M. Banks is President and CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest focused webzine. He is also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, the Chicago Tribune’s blog network, Walter Football.com, the Washington Times Communities, Yardbarker Network, and Fox Sports.com

You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and @bigtenguru

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