Today’s Topic: How Can Chase Young Get Even Better This Year?
Ohio State entered last season with the trio of defensive ends Nick Bosa, Jonathon Cooper, and Chase Young expected to wreak havoc on opposing offenses.
There was wreaking and there was havoc, and then Nick Bosa was lost for the season.
Cooper and Young lost their ace in the hole and they were going to have to grow up fast.
Young ended up leading the Buckeyes with 10.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles for loss, but it wasn’t easy. Six of his sacks and seven of his tackles for loss came in Ohio State’s final four games.
“It’s been a development stage for him early on,” defensive line coach Larry Johnson said back in the winter. “Playing behind a great player like Nick Bosa, then he goes down. All of a sudden, we think we can handle all of that pressure going in, but you really can’t. So it’s still been a development stage for him, but now he’s worked his way into a really good football player.”
Young’s issues and struggles weren’t unusual. Johnson has seen it from many others over the years.
“It always goes back to the same thing,” he said. “You think you have it, then you jump offside and lose your fundamentals. You think, ‘I can do this,’ but you can’t. You have to follow the system. You have to follow the way you’re taught to do it. I think with him, he thought he could do it, but realized, ‘Whoa, my technique and fundamentals still has to be a part of that.’
“I think that’s what kind of happens to most young players when you get thrown into the limelight and you go, ‘Wow, I’ve got to go compete, let me just go do my thing.’ You just can’t do it. I think he realized that he needed to do what was in his tool box, not what he thought he could do. I think he settled down and is in a really good place right now.”
Young is expected to build on the season he had last year, but it won’t simply come from being a great athlete or having a quick get-off. At this point, it’s going to be the little things that will make him even better than he was in 2018.
“When you get to the level he’s at, he’s got to be a really great technician,” Johnson said last week. “The athleticism takes over and now his tool box, his pass rush, his skill set, his hands, those are the things that separate him. Those are the things we’re working on. It’s the little things that are going to continue to improve.”