The Ohio State defensive line just officially got a whole lot better.
A verbal pledge to the Buckeyes since the summer, five-star defensive end Chase Young is the latest to fax over his national letter of intent to the OSU coaching staff, making the Hyattsville, Maryland native an Ohio State student-athlete.
Committing to Urban Meyer, Larry Johnson, and the rest of the Ohio State coaching staff while on the OSU campus for the Buckeyes’ annual Friday Night Lights camp last July, Young spurned programs such as Alabama and Maryland to bring his talents to Columbus.
Even though Young, a U.S. Army All-American selection, is one of the highest rated prospects in the Buckeyes’ class, he could walk away as the best in the class. With great speed off the edge, he’s the prototypical pass-rushing defensive end college coaches spend time searching the recruiting trail to bring into the fold.
Just like many of his soon-to-be Buckeye teammates, Young, the second weak-side defensive end and eighth overall prospect in the class of 2017 (per the 247Sports Composite), is more than used to winning on the football field. Playing for one for one of the top high school programs in the country, DeMatha Catholic, the 6’5, 250-pound standout was key in the Stags finishing the last two seasons off with an overall record of 23-1.
Leading DeMatha to an undefeated season and another championship title as a senior, Young put up some rather eye-popping numbers for the Stags. Fighting off double and triple teams, he reportedly finished his last year on the high school level with 118 total tackles, 19 quarterback sacks, 37 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles, and scored two defensive touchdowns.
When it comes to cracking the Buckeyes’ lineup, Young has a solid chance to follow in the footsteps of players such as Joey Bosa, Jalyn Holmes, and Nick Bosa as defensive ends to see significant playing time very early on during their career. While it’s highly doubtful he starts a game, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Young running down ball carriers next season for the Buckeyes as a true freshman.
Young was not short on reasons for selecting Ohio State:
Young is a consensus top-10 overall recruit for the class of 2017 and he’ll push for early playing time at defensive end behind starters Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis. Young will likely be utilized as a pass rusher until he puts on some more weight and the depth chart clears up, but this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect some early fireworks. His first step is very explosive and he consistently showed the ability to get around the edge in high school.
Young is the No. 1 player out of Maryland, and for good reason. His presence on the edge demanded a double team as he was simply too athletic and good for most high school offensive tackles to handle. While pass rushing is Young’s forte, he showed good ability to get his arms extended and disengage from blockers on runs to his side. His athleticism makes him a great fit at weak-side defensive end, as he’s able to keep contain on sweeps and wreak havoc if left unblocked on read option plays.
Young will have to improve his pad level and he gave up ground at times when his eyes were stuck in the backfield, but those are common issues when star players face underwhelming competition in high school. Young doesn’t have the size to slide into the interior of the defensive line, but that’s okay because few players possess his bend and ability to get around offensive tackles. Expect Young to find his way onto the field during obvious passing downs early in his career and — if his high school tape is any indication/Urban Meyer is feeling crazy — maybe even on kickoffs. — Ian Hartitz