One of the more dominant position groups in Ohio State's national championship run from last season were the collection of defensive linemen the Buckeyes put on the field.
Joey Bosa. Defensive end. Fort Lauderdale. Still remember the day I was at practice five years ago in Florida watching the loaded St. Thomas Aquinas team. Former Buckeye Cris Carter introduced me to all his wide receivers, and then he told me about a sophomore defensive end that was going to play in the NFL one day. Joey Bosa. I interviewed Bosa that day, and it might have been the first interview he had ever done with Scout. Watching him develop into an Under Armour All-American, and then freshman starter at Ohio State was fun. Bosa is now in the mix to be the first pick in the NFL draft next season should he choose to leave early, and he is going to be nearly unblockable this year. I expect him to be a the top defensive lineman in the country this season.
Jalyn Holmes. Defensive end. Norfolk (VA). Loved him all week in San Antonio at the Army Game, and he looked thicker and longer last week at Ohio State. In a battle with a few others to start opposite Bosa this season, and I have no doubt he can rush the passer. Can he hold up against the run? I don't know that, but if he can he can battle Tyquan Lewis for playing time. Holmes is the speed rusher off the edge Ohio State missed last season without Noah Spence. He should be in a position to contribute this season.
Sam Hubbard. Defensive end. Cincinnati Moeller. Even though he redshirted last season, I have no qualms with having Hubbard as a five-star recruit and number-one player in Ohio as a senior. It looks like he has finally found his position, and I need to see him settle in at one spot before calling our ranking a success or failure. After seeing him last week at defensive end, and observing how he has grown into his body, I think he has a home on the defensive line. Like Holmes, the question will be holding up against the run. I believe he will use his speed and athletic ability to get to the passer. Going to be a nice battle to see who starts opposite Bosa, and all three could be rotating this season.
Adolphus Washington. Defensive tackle. Cincinnati Taft. The Diesel has become pretty much what I thought he would be when we watched him as a basketball/football star at Taft. He has grown into his body, and really took to the move inside last season. Can he take a big leap this season? If he does, he becomes a first or second round NFL draft pick. Another former number-one player in Ohio, and a guy that has lived up to that ranking. Has size, speed, power and athletic ability. Could play ten years in the NFL, and is an All Big Ten type for this season.
Donovan Munger. Defensive tackle. Shaker Heights. Remember the first time I saw him as an unknown sophomore at Raw Talent Sports, and it's been great to see his development. Was slowed by an illness and had early academic issues, but has kept grinding and is in position to play a lot this season. Had two sacks last Saturday, and his quickness posed problems for the backup offensive linemen. Will always remember Munger for the wonderful note he sent me thanking me for how I covered him as a high school player. Donovan is a really nice kid, and is well liked by everyone.
Tommy Schutt. Defensive tackle. Glenbard West (ILL). Although he has mnot lived up to the high ranking he had as a high school senior, Schutt is a key member of this football team, and he is needed this season. Has been hurt a lot and inconsistent ast times, but he has the talent to be a solid contributor for Ohio State. He doesn't need to be Michael Bennett this year, but he needs to be a solid contributor. There are question marks at defensive tackle once you get past Washington. Schutt being good this season would be clutch for Ohio State.