MotSaG look at the Defensive Ends

OSU FootballWho the Buckeyes lost from last years team…

John Simon- The heart and soul of the defense and the team from last year. The Buckeyes will miss this OSU legend and most important his leadership. He was a star for Ohio State and he is irreplaceable but the young Bucks will have to do their best. John Simon was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the 4th round and is currently doing his thang for them and trying to earn a spot on the always impressive Baltimore Ravens defense.

Nate Williams- Nate was a guy who always showed so much promise but couldn’t stay healthy enough to become the player we all thought he could be. He was always a fan favorite and after graduating he signed a rookie deal with the Minnesota Vikings but was recently cut to make room for a healthy player while he is still recovering from numerous injuries he has suffered.

Who will replace them…

Noah Spence- Noah Spence came to Ohio State with a plethora of accolades and accomplishments and he is quickly becoming a fine, fine football player on the collegiate scene … he played in 11 games last season as a true freshman, missing only the Nebraska game because of a minor injury, and then came back and had a series of noteworthy and newsworthy 2013 spring practices …

Spence is an OSU Scholar-Athlete and is majoring in sociology … he was a Parade Magazine All-American, a five-star prospect, the No. 2 defensive end prospect in the country and a Top 5 prospect nationally by ESPNU and MaxPreps coming out of Bishop McDevitt … he was also the No. 1 player in the state of Pennsylvania and the state’s two-time big school defensive player of the year.

Adolphus Washington- Washington, on the strength of a fine freshman season in 2012 and an even better spring drills, is furiously gaining top-of-mind awareness as a young player to watch along the Ohio State defensive line … he played in 10 games last year for the undefeated Buckeyes and ranked third with 3.0 quarterback sacks for losses totaling 27 yards … his sacks, part of a nine-tackle freshman campaign, came against Miami (in his first collegiate game), vs. Illinois and vs. Michigan … he managed to play 156 snaps on a veteran defense with a high of 31 plays vs. Central Florida …

Washington is an OSU Scholar-Athlete who is exploring majors … he was a Parade Magazine All-American, U.S. Army All-American and five-star recruit (Rivals.com; Scout.com; 247Sports.com) as a high school senior … he helped lead Taft High School to the 2011 Ohio State playoffs, registering 23.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and 90 tackles for coach Mike Martin’s Senators.

Who are the Backups…

Steve Miller- Steve Miller is a two-year Ohio State letterman who has played in 11 games for the Buckeyes, including nine games last year during the team’s 12-0 season … his playing time last season included 55 plays from the line of scrimmage with a personal-high 17 coming against Central Florida … recorded his first quarterback sack against Central Florida (-10 yards) …

Miller is majoring in history at Ohio State … he was an imposing defensive end who was an all-Ohio pick as a sophomore, junior and senior for coach Ron Johnson and McKinley H.S.

Joey Bosa- Joey Bosa was one of the premier football prospects in the Class of 2013 with impressive national rankings of No. 38 (Scout), No. 47 (Rivals), No. 56 (ESPN) and No. 53 (247Sports) … a Scout five-start prospect, Bosa earned the No. 4 overall ranking at his position – strong side defensive end – by both Scout and Rivals … an Under Armour All-American and second-team all-USA Today pick … the leader of a St. Thomas Aquinas defense that allowed approximately 12 points a game … Aquinas defeated Tallahassee Lincoln, 41-25, to cap a 13-2 season and win the Florida Class 7A state championship in 2012.

A two-time Associated Press first-team all-state selection, Bosa totaled 51 tackles-for-loss in his last two seasons and 19 quarterback sacks, including 27 TFLs and 9.5 sacks as a senior.

Jamal Marcus- Jamal Marcus is in his second season with the Buckeye program … he earned his first Varsity letter as a true freshman in 2012 by playing in 11 games on special teams … he totaled 76 plays, including a personal-high 10 vs. Indiana … was in on eight tackles, including seven solo stops … he played as a linebacker as a freshman but Buckeye coaches moved the slippery fast Marcus to the defensive line’s “viper” position during spring drills where he competed with Noah Spence and Steve Miller.

He was a North Carolina all-state defensive end who was one of the final players in the 2012 recruiting class to commit to Ohio State, doing so in the last two weeks prior to signing day … as a senior, Marcus helped lead Hillside H.S., under the direction of coach Antonio King, to a 16-0 record and the NCHSAA Class 4A state championship … he tallied 89 tackles and 17.5 sacks for the PAC 6 Conference champions and he was named first-team all-state by the Associated Press.

Tyquan Lewis- Tyquan Lewis, one of five from this class who enrolled at Ohio State in January, is a four-star defensive end prospect (Rivals, Scout, 247Sports) from Tarboro, N.C., and Tarboro High School … a Top 25 defensive end who comes from a tremendous program at Tarboro … the Vikings, coached by Jeff Craddock, won three consecutive North Carolina Class 2A state championships and had won 21 consecutive games before falling in the 2012 state championship to East Lincoln … Lewis was injured in the title game but still played and earned defensive player of the game honors … he finished his senior season with 13 sacks and was named to the Associated Press all-state team … he had 12 sacks among his 63 tackles as a junior.

Tracy Sprinkle- Tracy Sprinkle was one of five Buckeyes in the 2013 recruiting class to enroll at Ohio State in January 2013 and take part in spring drills … The 2012 Associated Press first-team all-Ohio selection and Division I co-defensive player of the year, Sprinkle recorded 19 sacks and 30 total tackles-for-loss among his 103 tackles as a senior … dominant games included five sacks against Amherst Steele and four sacks (and 12 tackles) against Hudson … the first defensive player since Matt Wilhelm in 1999 to win the prestigious Lorain County Golden Helmet award as the best player in the county … also was named the Northeast Ohio All-Lake District Defensive Player of the Year as a senior … Elyria, coached by Kevin Fell, was 7-3 in both 2012 and 2011 … Sprinkle, a Top 30 strong side defensive end by 247Sports, had 27 sacks his final two seasons of play … he was a third-team all-state pick as a junior after making 94 tackles and eight sacks.

Player who could surprise…

Joey Bosa- This young Freshman has already turned heads at camp and has earned the praises of Coach Meyer, his staff, and his teammates. He will be in the rotation from game one and will be relied on to add depth. He is a true Freshman so we have to take that into account but the highly sought after recruit has now become the highly sought after player. He will have some growing pains I am sure but his talent is undeniable. He has a chance to shine this year and make a real statement.

How they will fare…

Defensive End is a position where OSU lost not only great players but the teams leader in John Simon from last years 12-0 team. There is a lot of potential for the new players. Both Noah Spence and Adolphus Washington were 5 star recruits who also played quite a lot last year and gained valuable experience. The young guys though have huge shoes to fill and will be relied on heavily for this defense. John Simon was and is an Ohio State legend and that can’t be overlooked. Noah Spence will use his speed and technique more then what Simon used in his bull strength. Adolpus Washington will take over the other side of the line and he is your traditional bull in a china shop guy. He is pure strength and power but has technique as well. These 2 guys in Noah and Adolphus will have to step up and become the players we all believe they are and will need to do it quickly. Their back-ups are even younger and less experienced. Steve Miller is the one veteran who as a JR will help with much needed depth. The other back-ups are Freshman and Sophomore and Jamal Marcus was a Linebacker last year so this is an area of concern yet promise.

I am excited to see how this position works out. I have a feeling by the end of the year they will prove to be a real strength of the team and not a concern. I look for both Noah and Washington to have double digits in sacks. I think Noah Spence will lead the team in sacks. Adolphus Washington will see more double teams just because of his sheer size.

Comments

  1. Great breakdown Jeremiah, didn’t think I would wake up to see my alma mater (Amherst Steele) in one of your posts. Good to see Sprinkle on the Buckeyes he definitely tore up Lorain County last few years.

  2. This is quite a fearsome lineup for one single position. Five or six of those guys could be starting at 90% of other college teams. And there all vying for playing time for two spots. Bosa is also the guy I want to see step up his game.

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