Since the announcement in the spring of Ohio State’s new hybrid linebacker/safety position known as the Bullet, excitement has surrounded the new Buckeye defense.
For senior bullet Jahsen Wint, this new position not only shows that the Buckeye defense is back, but it gives him another opportunity to show what he can do on the field for Ohio State this season.
“I’m back to my roots how I was in high school. I’m playing linebacker now,” Wint said. “I’m pretty familiar with the position and it’s been fun these last couple of months playing it.”
As a fourth-year player in the program, Wint transitioned from safety to the bullet position in the offseason. He played linebacker in high school before switching to safety when he arrived at Ohio State three years ago.
Wint believes this role fits him better than his role last year, where he considered himself more of an in-the-box type of player. This new position gives Wint an opportunity to play fast and get after his main job description, which is to get to the ball.
In the spring, senior captain safety Jordan Fuller described Wint as one of the team’s most-improved players and remarked that he was finally in his correct position. Wint, would also describe it as such.
“I love this role,” he said. “Back to my roots playing linebacker. So, now it’s just like go play the ball and now I’m just staying on the edges, playing the gaps, stuff like that. Then on third down I’ll probably just back up and go take the ball out the air.”
Wint is mostly in the linebacker room, working with co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison, who serves as the position coach for the Sam linebackers and bullets. But Wint has also received a lot of feedback from co-defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley from work done on his own time.
Wint acknowledged the benefits the new coaches have brought him, but regardless of the coaching changes and the impact they have had on him as a player, he knew he had to come in with a different mindset and attitude for this season to not blow a second opportunity.
Last season, Wint earned a couple of starts at safety for the first half of the season, but then only saw the field on special teams for the remaining games.
His confidence took some hits last year and he felt like he didn’t take advantage of his opportunity to show what he can do on the field.
“I had an opportunity and I missed it, but now I have the opportunity now,” Wint said. “So, I gotta make the most of it.”
The spring game was an exciting time for Wint, but also a major confidence booster. He showed flashes of what he could do at his new position and grabbed two interceptions in the game.
“It was a good statement to people,” Wint said. “Everyone who doubted me is going to have to come see this fall.”
Although Wint is behind junior Brendon White on the depth chart at the bullet position, and the bullet may not always be on the field, Wint still feels that he can carve out playing time and make meaningful contributions to the defense based on his play thus far in two camps.
“Just keep doing everything I’m doing,” he said. “I’m hearing great feedback, so I gotta just keep playing, making plays, doing my job.”
When Wint takes the field this year, he expects people to see a different player, “who is going to go get it.”
“Last year I was probably just too at ease,” he said. “I felt like I had it, or like things were going to come to me. Now it’s like, I have a chip on my shoulder. I’m ready to go play for real.”