Today’s Topic: What To Expect From Chase Young This Season
After the Cotton Bowl following the 2017 season, Ohio State defensive end Chase Young — then finishing up his freshman season — was asked if he had a target number of sacks in mind for 2018.
“Me personally, right now it’s probably 10.5 sacks,” he said at the time. “TFLs, they’re going to come. I think 10.5 sacks.”
If you fast-forward to present day and look up the Ohio State football statistics from the 2018 season and scroll down to the defensive numbers, you will see Chase Young listed with team-high 10.5 sacks.
Just as he predicted.
Young closed the 2018 season with extreme prejudice. He had 6.0 sacks and 7.0 tackles for loss over the Buckeyes’ final four games, including a 3-sack performance in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Young also ended up leading Ohio State with 14.5 tackles for loss, which was just short of Nick Bosa’s 16 as a sophomore in 2017.
So what should we expect from Chase Young in 2019 as a junior?
He may have some spoilers for everyone in the spring, but for now there is no harm in us speculating.
Not having Dre’Mont Jones on the interior anymore will take some getting used to for Young. There will be added attention from the offensive line. They can scheme things his way to lessen his impact. The going won’t be quite as easy as it was last year, not that it was ever all that easy.
Trying to project what Young will do this season is difficult, especially when you look back at other junior seasons for some talented Buckeye defensive ends.
Joey Bosa went from 13.5 sacks and 21.0 tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2014 to 5.0 sacks and 16.0 tackles for loss as a junior. He still played very well and dealt with the offensive line hand that he was dealt.
Nick Bosa never had the junior season that he was promised, but was well on his way towards proving that if you’re good enough, it doesn’t matter what the offense does to try and stop you.
Young still has a ways to go to reach Bosa levels and it is never fair to compare a defensive end to a Bosa, but he should still be pretty darn good in 2019.
If he has progressed as much as Larry Johnson believes, and continues to utilize the tool box that he and Johnson have developed, every offense the Buckeyes face this season will have to spend the week prepping for Chase Young.
The numbers may not be what they were last season, but as long as the effort is there, the impact should only increase.