We’ve got another black stripe alert in Columbus. Ahead of Week 7, freshman edge rusher Joshua Mickens got to receive the honors.

Mickens was a 4-star prospect in the 2023 class, and the No. 2 prospect from Indiana, per the 247Sports Composite ranking. Now, the freshman is officially a member of the Rushmen.

The black stripe became tradition back in 2012 under head coach Urban Meyer. Freshmen have to prove they have what it takes to be a Buckeye, and then they get the black stripe removed from their helmet, revealing the scarlet helmet stripe underneath.

Typically, players receive this honor during summer practices. However, Mickens has apparently been impressing in practice and earned the honor. John Ferlmann, Brenten Jones, Jason Moore, and Lincoln Kienholz are the other Buckeyes who have stripped the black stripes since the 2023 season began.

Mickens is now officially part of one of the nation’s best defenses. The 2023 Buckeyes currently sport the No. 8 defense in the nation, allowing just 264.8 total yards per game. This elite unit has helped the Buckeyes get off to a 5-0 record overall, with a 2-0 record in B1G play.