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Ohio State defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones is making huge strides this offseason

After deciding against going to the NFL after last season, the defensive tackle has been pushing himself during the offseason

NCAA Football: UNLV at Ohio State Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

“You see that (improvement) in some of his pass rush moves. He’s always been a good pass rusher. I think this spring he took another step. But I see it also in some of his run defense play where he’s just more stout.”

Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano on defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones via Patrick Murphy, Bucknuts

With Sam Hubbard, Jalyn Holmes, Tyquan Lewis, and Tracy Sprinkle all having moved on, Ohio State will look to replace their production on the defensive line. One player who looks primed to account for a good portion of the lost production is defensive tackle Dre’Mont Jones.

The fourth-year Buckeye could have declared for the NFL Draft like Hubbard, but Jones decided to return to Columbus for another season. Jones returned to Ohio State for another year because he feels not only does he have unfinished business to take care of on the field as he works to improve his game ahead of next year’s NFL Draft, but he is hoping to help Ohio State to something more than a Big Ten Championship.

While a number of his teammates on the defensive line had plenty to prove this offseason as they state their case for playing time, there isn’t any questions that Jones will be starting at defensive tackle for Ohio State this season. Despite already knowing he’ll be seeing plenty of playing time, Jones isn’t taking anything for granted, and has spent the offseason getting even better.

The effort that Jones has given so far this offseason, and the leadership role he is taking on, is why he will be one of three Ohio State players who will be representing the team at Big Ten Media Days next week. The exposure Jones will get next week, along with how hard he has pushed himself to improve on the field is why he could become one of Ohio State’s breakout stars this year.

“Yeah, five years from now, I don’t know what I’m going to look like. I think everybody knows recruiting is really cutthroat. Sometimes you’ve got to wear the battle scars a little bit from a week on the road.”

Ohio State men’s basketball coach Chris Holtmann via Austin Ward, Letterman Row

It’s easy to understand why Chris Holtmann might feel a little worn out. Just over a year ago, Holtmann was hired to replace Thad Matta as Ohio State’s men’s basketball coach, and he really hasn’t had much time for a break since. With Holtmann being hired in June, he was already behind when it came to recruiting, and he quickly had to figure out how to fill an Ohio State roster that had been decimated by transfers.

All Holtmann did in his first year at Ohio State was take a Buckeye squad that was predicted to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten to the NCAA Tournament. The success Holtmann was able to help the Buckeyes achieve in his first year have only ramped up expectations going forward.

So far Holtmann has been meeting the elevated expectations, not only bringing in Wake Forest graduate transfer Keyshawn Woods to help Ohio State on the court this season, but he has been extremely busy on the recruiting trail for 2019 and beyond. Holtmann has gained the transfer of C.J. Walker from Florida State, along with a number of high-profile recruits, including five-star point guard D.J. Carton.

There is no question that Ohio State couldn’t have made a better hire than Chris Holtmann when they decided to move on from Thad Matta last year. Even though Holtmann may have looked a little weary when in a press conference on Tuesday, the energy he is putting into recruiting for Ohio State’s future is really paying off. If the Buckeyes can build on last year’s success this season, it might make recruiting a little easier.

“He has got great experience (but) I don’t think that is something he should jump into. I don’t think that is something that is going to be given to him right now. He is going to have to learn his way a little bit, and he will.”

Ohio State men’s basketball head coach Chris Holtmann on Keyshawn Woods’ leadership role via James Grega, Eleven Warriors

Andrew Dakich might have set the bar a little high last year. Dakich came to Ohio State as a graduate transfer from Michigan, and his leadership on and off the court is why the Buckeyes were able to find so much success in Chris Holtmann’s first season as head coach.

This year Ohio State welcomes Wake Forest graduate transfer Keyshawn Woods, but fans should temper their expectations if they think Woods is going to have quite the same impact as Dakich. While Dakich essentially became an extension of the coach staff for the Buckeyes on the floor last year, Woods will be able to give Ohio State a little more production statistically on the court.

Even though Dakich might have exhausted his NCAA playing eligibility, he will still have a big impact on the program, as he has been brought in as an assistant coach. Woods will benefit greatly from having Dakich on the coaching staff, as Dakich has gone through exactly what Woods is going through now, joining a team as a graduate transfer. If Woods is able to match some of the production that was seen from him at Wake Forest, Ohio State could be in for an even better season than many are projecting for them.