Redshirt sophomore defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones announced on Thursday that he will return to Ohio State for his redshirt junior season.
My life long dream is to play in the NFL. In order to best achieve this goal, I have decided to forgo my draft eligibility and remain in school. OSU is providing me with a strong and solid foundation which will continue to make achieving my career possible. Go Bucks!
— Dre'Mont Jones (@TheOfficial_80) January 11, 2018
Jones recorded five tackles for loss and one sack in 2017 while playing limited minutes due to Ohio State’s frequent rotation of linemen. He figures to get more minutes this coming season, after the departures of fellow linemen Jalyn Holmes, Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard, Michael Hill and Tracy Sprinkle.
Jones’ name appeared in the first round of several NFL mock drafts, but another season under OSU defensive line coach Larry Johnson could push him close to the top of the 2019 draft board.
With the Buckeyes’ deep rotation at defensive end down to just three returning players in 2018 (Nick Bosa, Jonathon Cooper, and Chase Young), Jones could see time rushing the passer in OSU’s “Rushmen” package. The package utilizes four defensive ends on the field together in likely passing downs, giving OSU a threat that opposing offensive lines have struggled to contain.
Back in December, Bosa predicted that Jones would return to get that opportunity, and that the results would be incredible.
“Dre’Mont is going to finally get some third-down reps in the nickel package and he’s one of the best pass rushers I’ve ever seen in practice, so people haven’t really haven’t seen that aspect of his game. He’s fun to watch, so it’s going to be fun,” Bosa said at the time.
Jones joins WR Parris Campbell and RB Mike Weber in announcing that he will return to OSU. LB Jerome Baker, DE Sam Hubbard, and CB Denzel Ward have all said that they will enter the NFL Draft. The deadline for underclassmen to make that decision is Monday, January 15.