Damon Arnette was positive he had played his final game in an Ohio State uniform following the Rose Bowl on January 1. He was planning to declare for the NFL Draft and pursue his dream of playing professional football.
And then, Arnette received a very important phone call. On the other end was former Buckeye great and Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter, who had some advice for Arnette.
“He said, ‘Man, I don’t care what your NFL grade was, you’re not no All-American,’” Arnette told Eleven Warriors reporter Dan Hope. “He said that as I was on my way to Columbus to get the rest of my things to leave, and that just weighed really heavy on my heart, and he was right.”
Thanks to that phone call, Arnette will return to Columbus for his final season with the Buckeyes. He’ll be a member of Ryan Day’s first Ohio State team and, more importantly, have a chance to correct some of the defensive inconsistencies this team faced a year ago.
Overall, Arnette has a real opportunity to improve his draft stock with one more year of training.
Arnette has had a solid career with the Buckeyes, earning the starting cornerback job each of the last two seasons and also being recognized as an All-B1G honorable mentioned in 2017 and 2018. He would’ve been a mid-to-late-round selection at the NFL Draft.
But with one more year under his belt, Arnette has the chance to improve on some of the inconsistencies and propel himself into one of the higher rounds of the 2020 draft.
If that happens, he’ll probably be on the other end of a phone call with Carter again, this time thanking the Hall of Famer for his words of wisdom.