MotSaG Look at the Defensive Tackles

Buckeyes Gone From Last Year

Johnathan Hankins– Along with John Simon, ‘Big Hank’ lead the defense and was an absolute menace to opposing offenses. I was personally pretty disappointed when he chose to forgo his senior season and enter the NFL Draft, but I knew he was ready for the pros. Hankins was picked by the New York Giants at no. 17 in the second round of the draft, where he’ll join fellow Buckeye Jim Cordle. I look forward to watching Hank on Sundays and continuing to develop into a great pro defensive line.

Garrett Goebel – Goebel was probably one of the most overlooked players on defense the last two seasons for the Buckeyes. This tends to happen when you play alongside a legend like John Simon and a future second round draft pick in Johnathan Hankins. Goebel wasn’t a flashy player, but he always brought consistency and a solid presence on the line. He started every game his junior and senior seasons, racking up nine tackles for loss and two sacks over that time frame. Goebel signed as an undrafted free agent in April with the St. Louis Rams, where he’s currently fighting for a roster spot.

So Who Will Replace Them?

Michael Bennett– Michael Bennett is a name you should hear a lot this season. With the defensive line losing all four of its starters and Bennett being the most experienced among the returnees, a lot of will be expected out of him. While he has played in 21 games over his career, the junior has only started one game and that was when Simon was out against the school up north. Bennett has 28 career tackles, six for a loss, along with four sacks. Among returning players, Bennett is only second to Ryan Shazier in career sacks.

Bennett is an OSU Scholar Athlete majoring in consumer and family financial services. The junior is from Centerville, Ohio where he played for Centerville High School. Bennett was named a Division I all-Ohio performer and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Bennett was also a track and field athlete.

Tommy Schutt– Along with Bennett, a lot is expected out of Schutt. Schutt is only a sophomore, but still saw a good amount of playing time last year as a freshman. Schutt saw action in 10 games last season and started one game against Central Florida, playing 21 snaps. Schutt’s most notable game was against Wisconsin, accumulating four tackles and an important “quarterback hurry” in the Buckeyes’ win.

Schutt is also an OSU Scholar Athlete and is currently exploring for a major in the area of management and industry. Schutt is probably most well-known for being one of the first players to commit to Ohio State under Urban’s leadership. Schutt was a highly regarded five-star player out of Glen Ellyn, Illinois and was a major coup for Meyer in his debut recruiting class. He was ranked the no. 1 player in Illinois by Three top recruiting services (, MaxPreps, named him a top 100 player nationally. Schutt was also on the ESPNU Top 150 players list.

Who Are the Backups?

Joel Hale– Hale is probably one of the best kept secrets on the Buckeyes, as I was surprised to see he was already a junior. Even though Hale is kind of under the radar, he’s expected to contribute more this season than the last two seasons combined. Defensive coaches will look to him as an experienced presence on a young defensive line. Hale played in 15 games over the last two seasons, racking up 10 tackles. Hale saw enough action over his first two seasons to earn a varsity letter in each year.

Hale’s major is in consumer and family financial services. As a senior in high school, he was named Indiana’s defensive line’s “Mr. Football.” In his senior campaign at Center Grove High School he accumulated 40 tackles and nine forced fumbles. Hale was also a track and field letter winner.

Chris Carter– The first thing you’ll say about Carter when you see him is he’s massive. This is despite the fact that he was once even bigger, weighing more than 400 pounds. He’s now at a “lean” 341 pounds and stands six feet four inches tall. Carter is a red shirt sophomore and played all 12 games last season on special teams. Carter was initially an offensive linemen, but was moved to the defensive line in the spring of 2012.

Carter is a communications major from Cleveland. He attended John F. Kennedy High School, where he lettered in track and field, weight lifting and of course football. Carter helped lead JFK High School to the Division II playoffs his senior season. He was named the MVP of the Senate League. Carter was also active in extra curricular activities, being the student government president and being involved in the Army JROTC, along with many other activities.

Surprise Player

Carter– While everyone knows about Bennett and Schutt, along with two other notable defensive linemen in Adolphus Washington and Noah Spence, Carter is quietly waiting in the wings. I’m pretty excited about this guy’s future because of his size and most importantly his new-found motivation. Shedding 60 pounds wasn’t an easy task for Carter and I commend him for his accomplishment. Carter gave a lot of credit to strength and conditioning coach Mickey Marotti for whipping him into shape and to defensive line coach Mike Vrabel for motivation. A hungry and faster Carter is something I’m looking forward to seeing on the field and I look for him to make his presence known this season.

What to Expect Out of the Defensive Tackles

Greatness. I’m not going to beat around the bush. Yes this unit may experience some growing pains early in the season, but I expect it to be a well-oiled and finely tuned machine by the end of the season. Meyer and his defensive coaching staff is going to push these guys and make them one of the most feared units in the country. Everyone talks about Meyer’s offensive credentials, but he made some pretty great defensive teams while at Florida too.

I won’t be surprised at all if Michael Bennett and/or Tommy Schutt are named to the first or second all-Big 10 team. Bennett could really have a break out season and be one of the top defensive linemen in the Big 10. Hale should be one of the go-to guys off the bench and Carter will show us a glimpse into his promising future. To the Big 10 quarterbacks: Expect pain in your future, courtesy of the Buckeye defensive line. Not only next season, but for several seasons to come.

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