With his Ohio State career winding down, all games are big to Damon Webb.

In that regard, the Buckeyes’ senior safety isn’t necessarily prepared to call Saturday’s game against Michigan State bigger than others.

But it probably is. Webb is from Detroit and, growing up, he was more interested in Michigan State than the University of Michigan. Several of his friends enrolled at Michigan State and the Spartans offered him a scholarship.

Webb was closer to accepting than many realized, even though he committed early to Ohio State.

“Getting more toward signing day, I was thinking about flipping to Michigan State,” Webb said. “It seemed like home. But I had a gut feeling about Ohio State and I stuck with it.”

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Webb’s career hasn’t been spectacular, but it has been productive.

“A very good career,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer said. “He’s a very good player for us. (And) a good person.”

Now Webb wants to finish it with a flourish.

“I don’t have too many games left at Ohio State, and I have to make them count,” he said.

•  •  •

Webb is the middle child among Stephanie and Damon Webb Sr.’s three children. He is, proudly, a mama’s boy.

“I talk to my mom every day,” he said. “Me and my mom text every day. My dad will text me and I’ll reply a couple hours later. When my mom texts me, I hit her right back.”

His parents met at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where his dad enrolled on a baseball scholarship. The elder Webb also was a four-year starter at quarterback in high school, and he recognized his son’s athletic ability early.

But it was on an elite 7-on-7 football team as a teenager that the younger Webb showed how good he might become.

“Damon was kind of the young pup of the group,” said Damon Sr., a police officer for the University of Detroit Mercy. “What set him apart was that he was the youngest guy, and he was going up against four- and five-star guys and holding his own.”

Webb’s biggest test came at a tournament in Chicago when his team played one featuring Laquon Treadwell, then considered the top wide receiver prospect in the country. His coach told Webb that he would cover Treadwell the whole time.

“I was like, ‘Let’s go,’ ” Damon said. “I’ve never shied from competition, so when he told me that, it was something I was looking forward to.”

He did well enough that in the next week, Webb received several more college scholarship offers.

•  •  •

Webb was a backup cornerback his first two seasons at Ohio State. Before his junior year, Meyer and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano approached Webb about switching to safety. Webb agreed.

Last year, Webb was the “other” guy in a star-studded secondary. Fellow safety Malik Hooker and cornerbacks Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley would all be taken in the first 24 picks of the NFL draft.

“People would say I got overshadowed by the other three dudes, but I feel like I had a good season last year,” Webb said.

Not that he minded taking a back seat in terms of attention.

“I’m just a real laid-back guy,” Webb said. “I don’t like to be out in public a lot. I don’t like to be seen a lot. I like to be behind the scenes. I’m a real chill dude. That’s how I’ve always been.”

But as the only returning full-time starter this year — cornerback Denzel Ward rotated with Lattimore and Conley — Webb understood that he needed to be a leader this season.

“That was one of the challenges for me, to be more vocal,” Webb said.

Schiano said that Webb has embraced a leadership role. As for his play, Schiano characterized it as steady.

“But I don’t say steady with a negative connotation,” Schiano said. “I think he has held the whole thing together back there. He has made some really good plays. But as a safety how do you get recognized? INTs.”

Webb has two interceptions but could have at least twice that many. He didn’t high-point a potential pickoff against Nebraska that fell incomplete.

Webb should have gotten one against Penn State when he ranged far to intercept a pass in the end zone. But the play was negated by a questionable interference call on cornerback Damon Arnette.

“Damon’s range has improved immensely,” Schiano said. “I had a pro scout tell me that today. That play he made against Penn State was legit. I told our kids that was Malik-like.”

Webb hopes to continue his career in the NFL, but he will have a degree to fall back on if that doesn’t pan out. Webb is on track to graduate in December with a degree in sport industry with a grade point average nearing 3.0.

“We’re excited about that,” Webb Sr. said.

Damon Jr. appreciates the support he has received, especially from his immediate family. He would like to pay it forward to others who might not have had that, perhaps by becoming an athletic director someday.

“I’m blessed to have a great family,” he said. “My mom and dad, whatever I wanted to do, they’ve always supported me. My brother and sister have always supported me.

“I know a lot of kids where I come from don’t have the support I have. Hopefully, I can use my degree later on down the line; I can help kids in urban cities who are struggling.”