[This is the eighth in a series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the 2018 signing class and the impact they had this past season, as well as the impact they could have this coming season.]
Tyler Friday came to Ohio State from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, New Jersey. He was ranked the No. 6 defensive tackle in the 2019 class and the No. 93 player overall. Friday was the No. 4 player in the state, which was two spots ahead of fellow OSU defensive end signee Javontae Jean-Baptiste. Friday signed with Ohio State over offers from Alabama, Michigan, Georgia, Miami, Penn State, Nebraska, and Rutgers.
Tyler Friday played in nine games as a true freshman last year, finishing with three tackles and one sack.
He played in seven of the Buckeyes’ first eight games, but then saw action in just two of the final six games. Both games later in the season came against “teams up north.”
Friday was one of four defensive ends signed by the Buckeyes in 2018 and one of only two to see the field as true freshmen (Tyreke Smith). He had some bright moments early and at times was the most impressive of OSU’s seven defensive line signees last year.
Playing time was hard to come by in Big Ten play as OSU’s rotation solidified and shrunk, but his freshman season did enough to get his coaches excited about what’s to come.
So Now What
There are currently nine defensive ends on Ohio State’s 2019 roster, which is going to create some incredible competition in Larry Johnson’s world.
Four of those nine have freshman eligibility, which does give Tyler Friday a leg up in terms of game experience.
Ranked as a defensive tackle in high school, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see Friday (6-3 262) slide inside on passing downs as Tyreke Smith did at times last year. He came in strong a year ago and has only gotten stronger. His ability to slice upfield would be effective inside or out.
Following the 2019 season, the Buckeyes are expected to lose Chase Young early to the NFL and Jonathon Cooper and Jashon Cornell to graduation. As such, this is going to be an opportunity for all of the defensive ends to stake their respective claims on the depth chart down the road.
Last season as a freshman, Friday showed an ability to seal the edge like a traditional strong-side defensive end. As a sophomore, they will look for him to create more havoc in the backfield. He may not be the kind of defensive end that can drop into a zone, but he should be just fine keeping an offensive tackle busy.
This could be a deep rotation of defensive ends for the Buckeyes this season, which means repetitions shouldn’t be taken for granted. With so many players vying for snaps, each of them will need to be at their best in order to continue playing.
Larry Johnson has had nothing but praise for Tyler Friday, and now it’s time for everyone else to start seeing what Larry Johnson has been talking about.