Good luck, B1G offensive linemen: OSU DL coach says Buckeyes have 5 DEs who could start anywhere in the country
There’s was probably a collective sigh of relief from B1G offensive lines this offseason, when Ohio State defensive end Chase Young officially declared for the 2020 NFL Draft. The most intimidating player in college football was heading to the professional ranks.
But those B1G offensive lines can’t relax when they’re going up against Ohio State’s defensive line this fall just because Young is out of the picture. Right now, Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry Johnson says there are five defensive ends on the roster who could be starting just about anywhere in the country.
Johnson spoke with the media on Wednesday about the upcoming season, when he provided plenty of praise for a loaded defensive end room.
“You got five guys right now who could start anywhere in the country,” Johnson said of Jonathan Cooper, Tyreke Smith, Zach Harrison, Tyler Friday and Javontae Jean-Baptiste. He also said that all five guys will work their way into the rotation this season.
Maybe there isn’t one guy in the room who can replicate Young’s production — he totaled 16.5 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and forced 6 fumbles last season. But having so many talented players should allow the Buckeyes to stay fresh and continue to cause problems for opposing offenses.
Ohio State owned one of the nation’s best defenses in 2019, allowing just 13.7 points and 259.7 yards per game. The Buckeyes also led the country with 54 sacks and 124 tackles for loss.
They’ll be looking to do more of the same in 2020, as well.