Jeff Hafley came to Columbus and completely revamped Ohio State’s defense, turning it into one of the most dominant units in college football. For that, he’s been awarded a special title for the 2019 season.

247Sports named Hafley the 2019 Defensive Coordinator of the Year for his success in turning Ohio State’s defense from the No. 72 ranked unit in 2018 to the best defense in the country this fall. The ability to do that in just one season is almost impossible.

Obviously, Ohio State has some incredible talent. Defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah are both considered to be top five picks in the 2019 NFL Draft. There are a handful of other future NFL players on that side of the ball for the Buckeyes, too.

That certainly helps.

But Ohio State had similar talent in 2018, and just wasn’t able to put it all together. A complex system seemed to be a hindrance for a team that was filled with talent at nearly every position.

Ohio State ranked inside the top seven nationally in every major defensive category:

  • 2nd in scoring defense (12.5 ppg)
  • 7th in run defense (99.5 ypg)
  • 2nd in pass defense (148.1 ypg)
  • 2nd in totals defense (247.6 ypg)
  • 1st in yards per play allowed (3.93)

The Buckeyes finished the 2019 season 13-0 and claimed a third-straight B1G title. Ohio State will now face Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal game.

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