The No. 4 player on this list has yet to start a game but has more expectations than most players way more experienced. And for good reason.
No. 4 — Chase Young, Soph. Defensive End
Chase Young came to Ohio State as 5-star prospect and the No. 7 player in the 2017 class overall.
As a defensive end, Young arrived on campus looking the part, and nothing he showed in his true freshman season had anybody questioning the expectations that he brought with him.
For about the first half of the season, Young had more snaps than any of the other defensive ends because most of those games were blowouts. When the games got more difficult, however, defensive line coach Larry Johnson dialed back Young’s reps because he didn’t want to put him in situations that could cause failure.
Young played in 12 games last season and notched 19 tackles, 6.0 tackles for loss, and 3.5 sacks. He finished fifth on the team in both sacks and TFLs. Young had 1.5 sacks against Michigan State and another against USC, and also a forced fumble against Maryland.
What He Does Well
What does Chase Young do well? He makes things happen.
Even as a true freshman, Young was able to get into the backfield last year. And even though he didn’t always come away with the sack, the quarterbacks were getting pressured. He showed the same kind of relentless nature that we have come to expect from the Ohio State defensive ends.
Young is essentially the prototype physically. At 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds, Young has looked the part from his first winter workout. Athletically, he’s not too shabby either. He poses a speed + strength problem for pass blockers, which also translates to an ability to seal the edge on running plays as he becomes a more balanced defender.
Young is tall and long and should also be the cause of an interception or two this season just from tipping passes when he can’t get to the quarterback.
Chase Young in 2018
Chase Young has Bosa levels of expectations this season, which is crazy, but here we are.
He will be in the defensive end rotation in the most meaningful of games this season, which will be new for him, but everyone believes he is ready.
For a true sophomore with only 20 career tackles, landing at No. 4 in this list is quite a bit of a projection. It is also indicative of the bit of flux going on with the Ohio State defense at the moment as well.
That being said, nobody is going to be surprised if Chase Young is an All-Big Ten performer this season. In fact, more people would be surprised if he’s not on the first or second team this year.
What They Are Saying
“With young players, you want to make sure they are not growing too fast. When you grow too fast, you miss the technique part of it. My job with Chase is make sure as you move [you use technique]. We can’t use athleticism to win every play. That was the biggest focus going into spring ball is to make sure he has enough tools in his tool belt to use when he faces a really g great offensive tackle. That is the biggest challenge for him.” — Larry Johnson
“He played about 20 snaps last year per game. Those snaps will go up obviously and really from now, how he grows – I think the offseason is important for him this summer – how he progresses this summer is going to determine how he does in the fall.” — Larry Johnson
“Once you get the development, you get the tool box and understand what we do to rush the passer and you get all those things in your tool box, now you can go out and use those things because you feel comfortable using them. Chase is learning as he goes, trying to figure out, ‘What is my go-to move?’ To be able to do that on the spot, that is the progress. Joey [Bosa], he got it and the next year, it was done. He knew his tool box and what it was, and that’s what makes the difference.” — Larry Johnson