Pro Football Focus: Ohio State has produced B1G's highest-graded pass-rusher 3 times in last 4 seasons
If there’s one assistant coach in the B1G who gets underappreciated in his role, it’s probably Ohio State defensive line coach Larry Johnson. Regularly, the Buckeyes have some of the best defensive linemen in the country, but Johnson’s name doesn’t get mentioned frequently.
Maybe he likes it that way?
Regardless, a recent statistic shared by Pro Football Focus (PFF) shows just how dominant Ohio State has been along the defensive line over the last four seasons — particularly on the edge.
Based on PFF’s grading, Ohio State has produced the highest-graded pass-rusher three times in the last four seasons. In 2020, the honor went to Jonathon Cooper.
Highest-graded Big Ten pass-rusher
2017: Nick Bosa, OSU
2018: Carter Coughlin, Minn
2019: Chase Young, OSU
2020: Jonathon Cooper, OSU pic.twitter.com/8GrhTeck45
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) January 23, 2021
Chase Young received the honor following the 2019 season (an obvious choice) and Nick Bosa claimed the top spot in 2017. The one non-Buckeye on that list is Minnesota’s Carter Coughlin, who was the highest-graded pass-rusher following the 2018 campaign.
In 2020, Cooper totaled 24 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 2 QB hurries, a forced fumble and pass break-up. He helped the Buckeyes finish the season with a 7-1 record, win another B1G title and compete in the national championship.
Will the Buckeyes continue this impressive trend during the 2021 season? As long as Johnson is coaching the defensive line, they have a shot to have the best pass-rusher in the game in any given year.