ESPN picked a 2021 breakout star from each of their pre-season top-five teams and Ohio State’s super-freak sophomore defensive end Zach Harrison earned the number five slot. 

Harrison was an absolutely elite high-school prospect, ranked five-stars by 247 Sports, the top-ranked overall player in Ohio, the number-one defensive end in America, and a top five prospect nationally at any position. Those are what you call credentials, and ESPN believes Harrison will live up to them in his third year as a Buckeye.

According to scouting reports out of high-school, the 6-foot-6-inch, now 265 pound Harrison had the athletic ability to play at wide receiver. He ran a 4.47 forty-yard dash, a 10-second hundred-meter sprint, and 21.5 seconds at 200 meters, which all are within striking distance of Olympic numbers for a young man tall enough to play small forward in big-time basketball. 

Scouting service 247 Sports described the measurables as, “generational testing numbers at his size.”

In two years in Columbus playing along deep defensive lines, Harrison has 38 tackles and 9.5 tackles for loss. Those are solid numbers for a young player in the Big Ten but year three might be the breakout year for the physically gifted Buckeye.