The Anti-slobs: OSU’s Defensive Ends

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osuHelmetAside from the quarterback position, it is no secret that the only positions to be picked number one overall in the NFL draft since 1997 have been defensive end and offensive tackle. Football games are just simply won and lost at the line of scrimmage, and Coach Urban Meyer has made recruiting the offensive and defensive lines his number one priority during is tenure at Ohio State. Thankfully, for us Buckeye fans, he has done nothing short of knocking it out of the park when it comes to bringing in top level talent at defensive end these last three years. When it comes to sheer talent and athleticism at defensive end, the term “embarrassment of riches” comes to mind when describing the 2015 version of these buckeye pass rushers. However, with all of the talent and athleticism this group brings, they bring even more inexperience. Next to Joey Bosa, this group of defensive ends has made a grand total of ZERO whopping starts in their short Buckeye careers. Will this worry some fans? Possibly, but one thing I know for sure is that no one can become great at anything until they have been given their first opportunity to do so. Without further ado, let’s introduce to 2015 Buckeye Defensive Ends.

Joey Bosa- Jr. 6’6 275

What he brings to the table: This is the kind defensive end that comes around once every decade, if you are lucky. Earlier I referenced the terms sheer talent and athleticism, and Joey Bosa’s skill set totally personify that. We are talking about a guy that stands 6’6 275 and can do standing backflips for fun just because he feels like it. When it comes to his play on the field, there are two things that set Joey apart from the rest of the ends on this team, and in the country for that matter. His strength allows him to engage with offensive linemen, lock out his arms and simply move them out of the way without even using a swim, rip, or spin move. What is just as incredible is that he is does a great job at using said moves when he needs too. The second thing that sets Joey apart is his motor. The kid plays at 100 miles per hour every single snap. He is relentless and aggressive when the lights come on and Alabama and Oregon took note of this because this is also Joeys only major downfall to his game. While those two qualities make so many highlight real plays for Joey, they also causes Joey to over rush the pocket at times and create a larger window for quarterbacks to step up into. Joey’s over aggressiveness came into play against Alabama and Oregon more than a few times. In today’s college game with all of the spread offenses, so many teams rely on “reading” defensive linemen in the running game. “Well” Alabama and Oregon both decided, “either we can try and block this monster of a human being or we can not block him at all, read him and hope his aggressive tendencies cause him to chase the guy without the ball.” It worked on more than a handful of plays for both of those teams. Obviously, we are the national champs and this clearly wasn’t that large of an issue but is an issue none the less.

2015 Outlook: Unfortunately, Mr. Shoulder Shrug himself got into a bit of trouble to start out this season. Joey is suspended for the teams opener at Virginia Tech due to violating team rules but suspensions aside, I do not expect him to miss a beat come week two against the mighty Hawaii Rainbow Warriors. I do not expect to see a crazy jump in his statistics because the target on his back will be larger than ever. Either way, Joey will come back to be a leader for this defense and this team and I would be shocked if he was anything less than a top five pick in this coming years NFL draft.

Tyquan Lewis- RSo. 6’4 260

What he brings to the table: This is where the fun begins. Tyquan is a kid who has been in the program for 2 full years now. He finished the year stronger than most people might realize as he logged 25 snaps in the national championship game against Oregon. Defensive line coach Larry Johnson and other defensive teammates can not stop mentioning Tyquan’s name during interviews. If there is one thing I have learned over the years about following college football it is that there are only two groups of people that really know whats going on behind closed practice doors. That is the coaches and the players. Besides, Urban Meyer himself has come out and said that Tyquan has one of open spots locked down. Tyquan was a great 235lb pass rusher coming out of high school. Now at a thick 260lbs, he is ideal to man the defensive end spot next to Joey considering he also has the most in game experience of the remaining candidates. This is the kind of kid that i think has a really good next 2 years.

2015 Outlook: A lot will be asked of Tyquan without Joey Bosa in the lineup for week one. After Virginia Tech however, the non conference schedule is a cake walk. This is going to allow Tyquan to get used to playing 50+ snaps a game and hopefully slide into B1G season full of confidence. Hey, if Urban Meyer is in this kids corner, is anyone not named Urban Meyer qualified to disagree? I think not.

Sam Hubbard- RFr. 6’5 265

What he brings to the table: Three years ago, Sam Hubbard was a 6’4 215 lb Notre Dame Lacrosse commit who could run like a deer and was also playing safety for Cincinnati Moeller High School. Fast forward three years and he is now playing defensive end at Ohio State standing 6’5 and tipping the scales at 265 lbs. Did I mention yet that he can still run like a deer? People started using the word freak to describe people because of guys like Sam Hubbard. It is virtually impossible to break Sam’s game down as a defensive end because he has never played one down of the position in a real game. If coaches and players can not stop talking about you then you are doing something to get noticed. I sometimes feel like someone is actually paying Urban Meyer to talk about Sam Hubbard in interviews because I can not really remember that last interview I saw where Sam’s names was not dropped. This kid brings a different kind of athleticism to this position. The kind that gets us football junkies on the edge of our seats waiting for the season to start because we can not help but want to see just how good this kid could possibly end up being. All this excitement and you still realize this kid has not played one single down of football since the 2013 Ohio state championship football game. We should all probably hold our horses on crowning him the next big thing, but as a Buckeye fan I can’t help but get excited about the “what-if” potential.

2015 Outlook: I think Sam is one of two guys along with Jalyn Holmes (who I will talk about next) that steps in for the suspended Joey Bosa. When it comes to plain old athleticism, I don’t think we lose as much as people think with Bosa being out that first week. Replacing the two full years of playing under the bright lights that Joey possess is going to be the biggest obstacle that Sam is going to have to over come. In this situation I am a supreme optimist and think that Sam is just a rare talent that shines and will force the coaches to find him as many snaps as they can as the season progresses.

Jalyn Holmes- So. 6’5 265

What he brings to the table: Jalyn was the first big time recruiting pick up for wide receiver coach Zach Smith. A consensus four star prospect and top 100 player out of Virginia, Jalyn is a big time athlete who also played receiver in high school. There is starting to be a little bit of a trend here. Tall, athletic enough to be a legitimate receiver in high school and is now a 265lb defensive end. He has all the tools to be a big time pass rusher for years to come. He is long and athletic and has added plenty of weight during his year in Columbus. I honestly was waiting for him to break out last year but he couldn’t seem to take many snaps from former Purdue transfer Rashad Frazier. Not all freshman progress at the same rate and when Jalyn did play he showed enough to make me realize i should probably stay on the bandwagon.

2015 Outlook: Jalyn and Sam Hubbard are the two guys who keep having their names thrown around to start in Joey Bosa’s place week one. A big part of me says that Jalyn has played defensive end his whole life and that alone should give him the leg up on Sam to earn the starting job. The other part of me says that if he can not take snaps away from Rashad Frazier then how is he going to keep an athletic freak like Sam Hubbard on the bench. Either way, Larry Johnson has made it incredibly clear that there needs to be a rotation of ten defensive lineman playing every game in order to keep fresh legs on the field. Jalyn is absolutely one of those ten and I expect him to show that this year.

Darius Slade- RFr. 6’4 255

What he brings to the table: Darius is a kid who kind of came out of nowhere to end up in Ohio States class in 2014. His cousin is former Penn St. player Jared Odrick who played for defensive line coach Larry Johnson during his coaching tenure in Happy Valley. Something tells me that this fact might have helped the Buckeyes earn the last minute commitment. He redshirted last season but actually made a lot of waves during bowl practices. The offensive lineman consistently had great things to say about how he was progressing and after a solid redshirt year, I expect Darius to get a lot of snaps in some early non-conference games and earn his way into the serious rotation.

2015 Outlook: Darius is my sleeper pick for the year. Something tells me that barring any injuries, this is a kid that could jump onto the scene and take some snaps away from Tyquan Lewis should he underperform. That is not going to be easy by any means but this is just a gut feeling I have. I trust that when our Slobs go out of their way to talk up Darius that he is ready to make some noise in 2015.

Jashon Cornell- Fr. 6’3 265

What he brings to the table: Little-known fact about Jashon Cornell that many people might have forgotten: in the first releases of the scouting services top 100 players for the class of 2015, Jashon was the consensus number one player in the country. No, not just defensive lineman, but the number one overall player at any position. Jashon is someone who I can see sliding inside to play the three technique eventually. At 6’3 and already 265, he is bound to put on some more weight working under strength coach Mickey Marotti. He actually reminds me a lot of former Buckeye Michael Bennett in the sense that once he puts on 20lbs I don’t believe he will lose much athleticism and he has a similar motor to that of Bennett.

2015 Outlook: I think Jashon plays this year and does not take a redshirt. I am not sure exactly how much he plays due to the depth we have a defensive end but I believe a move inside is going to be inevitable and he will excel in the same ways Michael Bennett did in this defense.

Dylan Thompson- RFr. 6’5 275

What he brings to the table: Dylan is the least talked about name in this group. Seemed to be off to a good start in fall camp last year before injuring his knee and having to sit out for the season. A mountain of a man who won 3 state championships in high school and had 17 sacks as a senior. I never expect an Urban Meyer recruit to redshirt and if it were not for his injury, he may not have.

2015 Outlook: My assumption is that if Dylan were to be 100% healthy, he would spend the year on scout team and hope to crack the lineup in some mop up time during the out of conference schedule. Regardless, it is going to be an uphill battle getting back from his injury let alone cracking the two deep lineup with as much talent as we have at defensive end on the this roster.

Dre’Mont Jones- Fr. 6’3 280

What he brings to the table: As hard as is it for a former St. Edward Eagle to write nice things about a St. Ignatius Wildcat, it is impossible not to in this case. This kid was a blast to watch play the last two years on the gridiron and the hardwood. Crazy athlete that does not look like he is carrying around the 280 lbs that he is listed at. Another kid that will almost assuredly end up inside with his kind of size and still being just a freshman. Had he not torn ligaments in his knee during basketball season, he could have made an impact on this team with Jashon this year as a freshman

2015 Outlook: Dre’Mont is 100% a redshirt because of the knee injury. It is unfortunate because i really don’t feel like waiting a whole year to see him in Scarlet and Gray.

2015 Depth Chart:

DE 1. Joey Bosa
2. Sam Hubbard/Jalyn Holmes

DE 1.Tyquan Lewis
2. Darius Slade
3. Jashon Cornell

Odd man out:
-Dylan Thompson

-Dre’Mont Jones


  1. Great article, Fiesta – OH!

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