Ohio State’s depth at defensive tackle just became even more precarious.
With All-American Adolphus Washington already suspended for the Fiesta Bowl, OSU head coach Urban Meyer announced Dec. 27 that fellow interior lineman Tommy Schutt has been ruled out because of a broken foot.
It marks a cruel end to the college career of the Illinois native who was plagued by injuries throughout his time in Columbus but finally seemed to put it all together in a healthy senior season in 2015. Instead of closing out his career against the Fighting Irish, he’ll be on the sidelines in a walking boot.
“He’s done,” Meyer said, shaking his head.
As far as remedies go, Meyer said the Buckeyes will potentially lean on All-American defensive tackle Joey Bosa to play inside, as he’s done previously this season in the team’s Rushmen package. Other than Bosa, Ohio State will call upon Michael Hill, Donovan Munger, Joel Hale and Tracy Sprinkle to protect the middle.
Washington and Schutt combined for 74 tackles, 12 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks in 2015. Among the quartet of true defensive tackle replacements, Hale led the way with 12 tackles. Hill has 10 tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss while Sprinkle has three tackles and Munger has none.
It’s a tough assignment for the youngsters, who will go up against a unit that Meyer called one of the best offensive lines in college football. Others agreed, as the Irish were one of six finalists for the first ever Joe Moore Award, a prize presented to the top offensive line in the country.
Aside from the suspended Washington, only one Buckeye didn’t make the trip to Phoenix. Meyer said true freshman quarterback Joey Burrow was injured in a car accident and sustained a concussion but is otherwise fine. The Athens, Ohio, native will fly out to Arizona in a couple days.