Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward is reportedly a late scratch from tonight’s Cotton Bowl matchup against USC. Tim May of the Columbus Dispatch first reported the news.

The news was a shock, as there was no word that Ward was contemplating a choice to sit out of Friday’s game. There were also no reports that he was injured or had been suspended.

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Ward is one of the top cornerbacks for Ohio State and will be a significant loss for the Buckeyes defense. He was an expert in coverage, breaking up 15 passes and hauling in two interceptions this fall. He also accounted for 37 tackles.

He is considered to be a potential first-round pick.

This will be a huge loss for the Buckeyes, especially against a potent USC offense that averaged nearly 35 points per game.