COLUMBUS — Ohio State senior Jonathon Cooper, who has battled an ankle injury since fall camp, has opted to sit the rest of the season and redshirt with an eye toward returning to full strength for his fifth-and-final season as a Buckeye in 2020.
Ohio State has confirmed the decision, which was made this week.
Cooper missed the first four games this season, then returned to play in three games, then missed three more games. He is now at three games played this season, so a decision had to be made about the rest of the season. For now, that decision is to redshirt. He can still play in one more game this year.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances the rest of the season, Cooper will finish with three tackles in his three games played.
Given the injury that Cooper has had to deal with this season, he wasn’t able to have the senior year he was hoping for. Having also seen what a fifth year did for past teammates like Tyquan Lewis, Terry McLaurin, and Parris Campbell, Cooper opted to follow in those footsteps.
With Cooper’s return in 2020, the Buckeyes will be bringing back a captain with starting experience who will be able to lead a defensive line unit that will likely be losing Chase Young to the NFL, and fifth-year senior defensive tackles Jashon Cornell, DaVon Hamilton, and Robert Landers to graduation.
Cooper was an Honorable Mention All-Big Ten selection last year as a true junior. He has 49 tackles in his career, along with 10.5 tackles-for-loss and 5.5 quarterback sacks.