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2020 tOSU Defense

Discussion in 'Buckeye Football' started by ScriptOhio, Jan 18, 2020.

  1. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.



    Call it cliche, done, oversaturated or any other likewise name, but great programs don’t rebuild.

    They reload.

    Ohio State football, a program that has finished outside the Associated Press Poll top 6 only once since 2011, has proved capable of restocking its shelves.

    Eight starters from Ohio State’s No. 1 total defense are gone, but with players such as sophomore safety Josh Proctor and freshman defensive end Zach Harrison rising through the ranks, Buckeye fans have little reason to fret.

    “I think the groundwork has been laid moving forward. And I think there’s a lot of credibility now, and I think there’s some real good leadership there,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said. “And these guys have tasted it now. They’ve been in the semifinals here, some of the younger guys. I think they’re just going to be hungry moving forward as we get into the next season.”

    While the list of departures from the Buckeye defense reads like a who’s who of projected top NFL Draft picks and All-Big Ten performers, the list of names replacing them reads like a who’s who of former four- and five-star prospects, some of which have already flashed their potential.

    On the departing side, junior defensive end Chase Young won multiple national defensive player of the year awards this past season and set a school record for sacks. Also leaving is junior cornerback Jeff Okudah, one of three finalists for the Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to the best defensive back in the nation.

    But there’s talent waiting in the wings.

    Harrison, an Ohio product and former five-star, will join a deep core of defensive ends to replace Young.

    “He can fly,” redshirt senior defensive tackle Robert Landers said. “He’s long. Came out of high school, he was a big track guy. I remember watching him, actually, in high school. The boy can run.”

    With senior Jonathon Cooper, who took a redshirt in 2019 following an injury, sophomores Tyler Friday and Tyreke Smith and redshirt freshman Javontae Jean-Baptiste, Ohio State’s edge rushers will have 123 combined career tackles and 17.5 sacks entering 2020.

    Three starting defensive tackles are gone, but three others who rotated with them have stayed. Sophomore Taron Vincent, another former five-star, also returns from injury.

    The Buckeye secondary suffered perhaps the biggest losses, with Okudah, senior safety and two-time captain Jordan Fuller and redshirt senior cornerback Damon Arnette, named second-team All-Big Ten in 2019, all gone.

    Redshirt sophomore cornerback Shaun Wade will help secure the outside. Junior cornerback Amir Riep, who intercepted two passes in 2019, will vie for playing time opposite him alongside two other cornerbacks who received significant playing time this past season: sophomores Sevyn Banks and Cameron Brown.

    It’s no mystery what top candidate will replace Fuller — sophomore safety Josh Proctor.

    Proctor received more meaningful reps as the season progressed, with 13 tackles and one interception. It culminated in the Big Ten Championship Game with a thundering hit placed on Wisconsin junior quarterback Jack Coan.

    “He has so much talent,” Fuller said. “His progression from when he first got here — he’s just a completely different player, completely different demeanor, everything.”

    Entire article:
    lvbuckeye, TS10HTW and brodybuck21 like this.
  2. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

  3. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    How Will Ohio State Replace… SAF Jordan Fuller


    Jordan Fuller was a three-year starter at safety for Ohio State, replacing All-American Malik Hooker quite well. This past season he was the last line of defense for one of the best Buckeye defenses ever, and whoever replaces him this coming season will have just as much pressure on him as Fuller did in replacing Hooker.

    Fuller played high school ball at Old Tappan in Westwood, New Jersey where he was ranked the No. 6 athlete in the 2016 recruiting class and the No. 134 player overall. He was the No. 4 player in New Jersey, behind Michigan signees Rashan Gary and Kareem Walker, as well as future Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano.

    Fuller came to Ohio State as a corner, but was quickly moved to safety in camp and pretty soon after that earned a job as Hooker’s backup as a true freshman.

    That experience was parlayed into a starting job in 2017 as Ohio State’s deep safety. Fuller finished with 70 tackles that season, which was two behind linebacker Jerome Baker for the team lead. He also added in a pair of interceptions and three tackles for loss.

    As a junior in 2018, Fuller moved closer to the line of scrimmage, which was possibly a schematic mistake by defensive coordinator Greg Schiano. No longer the last line of defense for the Buckeyes, they gave up big plays on the regular. Fuller did tie Malik Harrison for the team lead in tackles, however (81).

    With a new defense implemented by defensive coordinators Jeff Hafley and Greg Mattison in 2019, Fuller was once again the last line of defense for the Buckeyes and he responded in terrific fashion. His tackle numbers dropped, however, because there were fewer plays that actually got to him in 2019.

    Still, he showcased on a number of occasions how important his role as the quarterback of the Buckeye defense is, and how difficult he is going to be to replace.

    The Candidates

    Backing up Fuller this past season was sophomore Josh Proctor, who played in 11 games and finished with 13 tackles, one interception, and three pass breakups. Prior to the season last year he earned comparisons to former Buckeye great Malik Hooker.

    Marcus Hooker, who is the younger brother of Malik, began making his way onto the field here and there as the 2019 season went on. He played the most snaps of any safety not named Fuller or Proctor last season.

    The Buckeyes signed two safeties in the 2019 class. Ronnie Hickman (nicknamed “The Rocket”) arrived with an injury and never saw the field. Bryson Shaw played in three games and redshirted. Both will be competing for a spot in the two-deep with Hooker.

    Ohio State has — or will be — signing two safeties in the 2020 class in Lathan Ransom and Cameron Martinez, but this job has too many responsibilities for a true freshman.

    There is also the possibility for a cornerback like Tyreke Johnson to make the move to safety. After two years at corner, maybe he’ll get a look at safety?

    Entire article:

    Getting New Secondary Ready Requires More Than Just On-Field Work


    Getting the Ohio State football team ready for each season involves much more than just the practice field.

    There is the weight room, the classrooms, and any number of the other rooms in the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. Behind every door there is development happening.

    And for the players, there is failing, succeeding, learning, and everything in between.

    This upcoming edition of the Buckeyes will be no different. Head coach Ryan Day has already said each team has to start over and become its own entity. Returning starters are obviously nice, but every team has new players and new coaches, which then changes the chemistry from the season before.

    The key is getting every piece to fall in line together before the season begins.

    And that started last month with winter workouts.

    One of those areas where things are going to need to fall in line is the Buckeye secondary, which will feature three new starters in 2020.

    Gone are cornerbacks Jeff Okudah and Damon Arnette, as well as safety Jordan Fuller. All three are off to their new NFL lives.

    Slot corner Shaun Wade is the only starter returning, but he will move outside this season and continue the cornerback legacy that Ohio State has become known for.

    Speaking with the media recently, OSU strength coach Mickey Marotti was asked about the next wave of defensive backs for the Buckeyes.

    “They’ve got a lot of work to do, there’s no doubt,” he said. “They got a lot of work to do. Young guys don’t know. Obviously Shaun Wade’s back, he knows what he’s got. He knows.”

    While Wade may know, Marotti also makes it clear to every other player what needs to happen.

    “I sit down with every player that week that they got back for school, every player,” he said. “We talked about goals, we talked about how you can help the team, we can talk about what your value is, what you need to do this offseason. We write it down. We have objective goals, we have the subjective goals, and we talk about all different things.”

    Entire article:
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  4. MaxBuck

    MaxBuck 2014 National Champions!

    Big question marks in the secondary for 2020. I'm very optimistic, but unsure where the contributions will come from.
  5. Taosman

    Taosman Chillin!

    With all the blow outs many young guys played in the secondary. The young guys just need coached up and game experience. We could take some hits to the pass defense early but the young guys are talented and the guy coaching them is pretty good I hear!
    Systems_id, bukIpower and RugbyBuck like this.
  6. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    Now that Coombs has returned to Ohio State, however, he is also planning to return to his rotation.

    “I absolutely anticipate doing it,” Coombs said on Wednesday. “I think you gotta get your best players on the field, but I also think you gotta keep fast, fresh players on the field. And I think that for the sake of continuity and a program over the course of years, guys need to play.”

    As Coombs has argued since he was finally able to implement his rotation, nobody questions why the defensive line rotates. The principle remains the same at the front end as it does the back end. The more you can substitute and rotate, the better your fourth quarter defense is going to be.

    But there won’t be a rotation if the players aren’t good enough to play.

    “I have every expectation of playing multiple players in the back end. They gotta be good enough to play,” he said. “The performance of the unit cannot go down when they go on the field. So you can’t say, ‘We’re just playing them to play them.’ They’ve gotta be capable, confident players. But I have every expectation of playing a lot of guys in the back end.”
    TS10HTW likes this.
  7. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    Wouldn't be shocked to see more of the 4-4 look for the the exact reason you say. We are still very deep in the front 7 so don't be shocked to see more of that.

    Not to mention Werner dropped a good bit last year to be a safety anyways.
  8. bucknut502

    bucknut502 Senior

    Cam Brown is going to be the next in line of great CB’s. I’ve seen Gareon Conley comparisons.

    We know what Shaun Wade is. Stud! Top 10 pick.

    I love Josh Proctor! He’s an enforcer in the secondary. And has big play potential. Only thing I worry about with him is I think he’ll get caught gambling on a big play and will make mistakes. But some of those will pay off big time!

    And the player I’m looking forward to seeing on the field more the most, Sevyn Banks! I think he’s going to be very good! I see him in that slot position that Shaun Wade played.

    I’m not worried at all.
  9. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    I wasn't a fan of Cam Brown until I realized his size and then heard he ran a sub 4.4

    I agree with you on Cam. If he can put it together next year he should do very very well (same for Eleveyn Banks).
  10. MGMT

    MGMT Senior

    Not sure Wade’s in that top-10 discussion but he has a chance to get there with success playing the boundary.
  11. bukIpower

    bukIpower Senior

    He should be... he's better than Okudah if you ask me and we know he's a top 5 pick.
  12. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

    How Will Ohio State Replace… LB Malik Harrison


    Malik Harrison was one of those Central Ohio prospects who had to wait until after his senior season to receive an Ohio State offer.

    A three-star prospect out of Walnut Ridge High School in Columbus, Harrison had already taken official visits to Wisconsin and Indiana before the Buckeyes ever even offered.

    Harrison finally got that OSU offer in early December of 2015 and took an official visit to Ohio State six weeks later. He then followed that up with official visits to Michigan State and Syracuse before ultimately signing with the Buckeyes.

    As a true freshman, he spent most of his time on special teams. As a sophomore, however, he found a reserve role on defense, finishing with 36 tackles.

    Harrison then earned a starting job in 2018, which he kept in 2019. He led the Buckeyes in tackles each of the last two seasons, and leaves Ohio State with 205 career stops.

    Replacing Harrison will not be easy because he was a well-rounded linebacker. His speed allowed him to cover ground and his size made him a formidable run stopper as a senior. He was a versatile defender, which makes one wonder if it will take more than one player to replace him in this Ohio State defense.

    The Candidates

    Malik Harrison played the Will, and ideally in this defense the Mike and Will are interchangeable, so it begs the question of whether OSU will continue to rotate Tuf Borland and Baron Browning at Mike, or will one of them move to the Will so they can both play full time? The rotation worked pretty well last season (Ohio State was one of just seven teams nationally to allow less than 3 yards per carry), so there may not be a desire to fix what wasn’t broken.

    There are also three highly-touted rising juniors who have spent their respective careers as backups and special teamers. Both Teradja Mitchell and K’Vaughan Pope were listed as backups to Harrison last year, while Dallas Gant was listed as the backup to Borland. Pope had interceptions in back-to-back weeks against Maryland and Rutgers.

    Sixth-year senior Justin Hilliard could also be a candidate. He was on the field quite a bit when Ohio State went with four linebackers this past season. His future as a Buckeye is still being discussed, however. Or at least it was when he last spoke with reporters during bowl prep.

    Redshirt freshman Tommy Eichenberg will also get an opportunity.

    Entire article:
    brodybuck21 likes this.
  13. MSURacerDT55

    MSURacerDT55 Lineman aficionado

    I actually disagree from the stand point of him being a complete stud from the slot/safety, he was damn near Honey Badger like with is play, no you add the fact that he could go to the outside and be the #1 shutdown guy? You take production, positional versatility, and testing well athletically, I can see it.....
  14. ScriptOhio

    ScriptOhio Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.

  15. RugbyBuck

    RugbyBuck Our church has no bells.

    DB room is down two players, one of whom could well've turned out to be a starter at inside/slot corner. It certainly affects our depth, but helps the new kids who showed up in January and Martinez. Transfer portal options?

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