Coming into the third game of the 2013 season, Ohio cornerback Devin Bass really had not made a name for himself in the Bobcat secondary.
But with starting corner Ian Wells sitting out after disciplinary action, the sophomore Bass stepped into the limelight and played possibly the biggest game of his life. With Marshall quarterback Rakeem Cato targeting Bass early and often, Bass made play after play on the ball. He helped lead Ohio to a 34-31 Battle for the Bell victory, with a team-leading 11 tackles, an interception, and four broken up passes.
I caught up with Bass on Ohio Football Media Day to talk about the upcoming season and that Marshall game.
"With Ian sitting out, there was kind of a little pressure on my shoulders you know to really step up and stuff, and I was just waiting for my shot to really go after it," said Bass.
The game propelled Bass into a more productive than anticipated 2013 season in which he earned first team All-MAC honors as a kick returner and second team honors as a cornerback. The 5-foot-9 180-pound corner is poised to be one of the better defensive backs in the Mid-American Conference.
Bass will be in a leadership role in an experienced secondary that will be without two of its top pass defenders from last year, Travis Carrie (who was drafted by the Raiders), and Xavier Hughes.
"Last year the leadership, it wasn't exactly there...maybe it was on the field, but it wasn't vocal enough or you know, there wasn’t just energy coming out of people," Bass said. "And I think that’s one of the big things we have been working on this year is forth bringing that energy, and kind of communicating and just being more vocal with everybody on that front."
Bass summed up his feelings best when he told me: "To become a great corner you have to be tried a few times." Never is that more true than when you're on an island in the defensive backfield lined up against a talented wide receiver.