Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
After watching the defensive end dominate on the field for the Buckeyes in 2019, it’s hard to argue with the confidence of the Heisman Trophy finalist
“The first day at [training] camp, when I step on the field, I want to be the best player I can be. I don’t want to waste time trying to be a combine athlete. I need to know I put my best foot forward trying to be the best player I can be.”
NFL scouts who want to see Chase Young work out ahead of the NFL Draft will have to wait another month. While many NFL hopefuls are working out at the NFL Combine, which starts today in Indianapolis, Young has decided to wait until Ohio State’s pro day next month to showcase his skills. Young is currently in Indianapolis for the combine, to interview NFL teams.
Since Young is going to be one of the top picks in April’s NFL Draft, it’s a smart move for the defensive end to skip Saturday’s on-field workouts for defensive linemen and linebackers. The risk for Young to take the field in Indianapolis far outweighs the reward. Anyone who doesn’t already know what Young brings to the table hasn’t been paying attention to college football the last couple of years.
Even though Young missed two games in 2019 due to an NCAA suspension, the talented defensive end still finished the season with 16.5 sacks, and was a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. Some may knock Young for not having a sack in the final three games of the year, but even though he didn’t add to his sack total, he still made life extremely difficult for his opponents. Young thinks he is the best player in this year’s draft, and even though this year’s draft pool is full of great athletes, it’s hard to find a player that is better than the Buckeye defensive end.
“Honestly, it might be better. It might be better than it was last year, because the guys that are coming in were just as good and ready to play in case me and Branden [Bowen] or somebody else was to go down, so I’m definitely excited for what’s going on over there.”
Jonah Jackson really closed out his college career with a bang. The transfer from Rutgers was part of one of the best offensive lines in college football in 2019, helping to clear the way for running back J.K. Dobbins and protecting quarterback Justin Fields. The offensive line of Ohio State was a finalist for the Joe Moore Award, which is given annually to the best offensive line in the country.
Ahead of the NFL Combine, where Jackson is looking to leave an impression on NFL talent evaluators, the guard had some words of praise for the Ohio State offensive line. It says a lot when Jackson thinks that the 2020 Ohio State offensive line could be even better than the 2019 unit. It helps the Buckeyes that most of the starters from the 2019 offensive line will be returning in 2020 with something to prove after coming up just short of beating Clemson in the College Football Playoff.
One Buckeye lineman that Jackson singled out as the next star in the scarlet and gray is Wyatt Davis. The guard came to Ohio State as a five-star recruit, and he lived up to the hype in his first-year as starter in 2019. Even though Jackson had more knockdowns than Davis, Jackson was jealous of just how physical Davis was with his knockdowns at times. If the Ohio State offensive line is in fact better in 2020, the rest of college football is in trouble because Ohio State will be hard to stop.
“For me, having the ball a little bit more puts me in a better rhythm. You’re feeling the ball more. You’re apart of the actions and stuff like that. You get a little more comfortable with getting into a rhythm. Definitely like playing the ball a little more and being able to play-make and create for others.”
There are a lot of similarities with this year’s Ohio State men’s basketball team and last year’s. Not only have the Buckeyes worked through a rocky January, but they are also operating without a true point guard. The loss of D.J. Carton has forced Chris Holtmann to shuffle some of the roles on the team, and the main beneficiary of those moves has been Duane Washington Jr.
Florida State transfer C.J. Walker has been tasked with a lot of the ball-handling responsibilities, but Washington gives the Buckeyes a little more versatility. Walker leads Ohio State in assists, averaging 3.4 helpers per game, but Washington brings more of a scoring threat, especially from three-point range. Entering tonight’s game agains Nebraska, Washington is hitting 38% of his three-point attempts, while Walker is hitting just 33% of his long-range shots.
The impact that Washington is starting to have this season for Ohio State is similar to the role that Keyshawn Woods had for Ohio State last season. Much like Woods last season, Washington struggled in January, but is starting to regain his rhythm as the NCAA Tournament approaches. With regular season games still left against Michigan, Illinois, and Michigan State, the Buckeyes are going to need Washington to continue to grow into his role, because they’ll certainly need his scoring in postseason play to take some of the pressure off of Kaleb Wesson.
“The teams that have nothing to lose are extremely dangerous. We have to be mindful of their top players, as we know they can score, but we have to focus on their whole team dynamic because it was the whole unit that beat Wisconsin.”
Ohio State’s women’s hockey team is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2018, and so far they have put themselves in great position to do so. The Buckeyes are currently ranked fifth in the country, and look to be primed for at least an at-large bid. To further solidfy their standing, Ohio State looks for a deep run in the WCHA Tournament, which kicks off this weekend.
The first round opponent for the Buckeyes in the WCHA Tournament is Minnesota State, who are ranked sixth in the seven team league. Despite the Mavericks struggling for most of the season, Ohio State knows they can’t take their opponent lightly. Minnesota State tied the Buckeyes twice early in the season, and beat top-ranked Wisconsin earlier this month. The Mavericks will be looking to play spoiler this weekend, especially after Ohio State beat them by a combined score of 14-4 in two January contests in Columbus.
The two teams will play at on Friday and Saturday, and if neither team sweeps those two games they’ll square off again on Sunday to decide who moves on to the WCHA semifinals next Saturday. If the seeds hold out, the Buckeyes will play Minnesota in the semifinals, with the winner moving on to the finals the next day, but the matchups could change if there are upsets. The winner of the WCHA Tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
STICK TO SPORTS
- Two Columbus chefs have been named semifinalists for honors from the James Beard Foundation.
- Nitro is the newest K9 officer of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
- Dreamscape, an immersive virtual reality attraction, is opening at Easton on Friday.
- Fox Sports Ohio and SportsTime Ohio will no longer be available to those with YouTube TV.
- The first trailer for Jordan Peele’s remake of ‘Candyman’ has been released.