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Ohio State defensive end Chase Young is ready to build off a breakout sophomore season

The five-star defensive end lived up to the hype this year, leading Ohio State in both sacks and tackles-for-loss.

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

“It feels real good looking ahead to next year and what we have coming back. We got to work. I have to keep my body fresh. My main focus is to take care of my body as much as I can.”

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young via Dave Biddle, Bucknuts

Plenty of hype surrounded Chase Young when he arrived in Columbus, coming to Ohio State as a five-star defensive end out of Maryland. Young raised some eyebrows with four sacks during his freshman season on a talented Ohio State defensive line. During the offseason heading into his sophomore year, Young worked hard and the work he put in definitely showed, as he registered a team-high 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles-for-loss.

Heading into his sophomore season, a lot of the attention at defensive end for Ohio State was focused on Nick Bosa, which helped to take a little of the pressure off young. That didn’t last too long though after Bosa was injured against TCU and didn’t play against the rest of the season. Young closed the season strong with six sacks over the last four games, including three against Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Now Young will be looking to build on his breakout sophomore season with another offseason of hard work. Not only does Young have a goal of keeping his body in top shape ahead of his junior season, but now he’ll be taking on more a leadership role with five-star defensive end Zach Harrison coming in. If Young can build off the strides he made in his sophomore season, the sky’s the limit for the talented defensive end.

“He’s walking into a place that’s going to show him love, but also going to get after him, toughen him up. From what I’ve seen, he’s a great kid, and I think he’s ready for it. I think he’s excited to come here. We’re excited to have him. I can’t wait to get in that weight room with him.”

Ohio State defensive end Jonathon Cooper via Tony Gerdeman, The Ozone

Defensive end Zach Harrison is coming to Ohio State as one of the most heralded recruits around the country, but the transition from high school to college is never an easy one, especially when you are an early enrollee like Harrison. Not only does Harrison have to deal with the adjustments of college classes and navigating Ohio State’s huge campus, but there also is the offseason weight program that will be partaking in.

What will help make things a little easier for Harrison is he’ll have a couple of talented defensive ends who went through the exact same thing he is going through. Chase Young and Jonathon Cooper stood in Harrison’s shoes just a few years ago. Players like Tyquan Lewis, Jalyn Holmes, and Sam Hubbard took Cooper and Young under their wings when they got to Ohio State, and now Cooper and Young are planning to do the same with Harrison.

Both Cooper and Young know just how talented Harrison is and how much he can help the Buckeyes. The goal is to get the talented freshman up to speed as quickly as possible, and comfortable on the field. The sooner Harrison’s elders on the defensive line can do that, the more fear the Buckeyes defense will strike in their opponents. Competition breeds excellence, and it’ll be interesting to see just how strong the signing of Harrison makes Ohio State.

“I knew going in it would be hard, but we have really good kids. They play hard and compete and get better and are coachable. It’s been hard in some respects, but it’s also been fun because I like the kids and like their commitment to this team.”

Ohio State women’s basketball head coach Kevin McGuff via Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch

After winning at least 24 games in each of the last four years, Ohio State’s women’s basketball is in a bit of a transition this year. Gone are stars like Kelsey Mitchell and Stephanie Mavunga, while a quartet of five-star recruits are arriving in Columbus next year. The Buckeyes currently sit at 6-8 on the season, but they are improving, as evidenced by wins over Indiana and Michigan State last week, but of whom were ranked at the time.

Despite not winning as many games as they’d like to so far this season, the Buckeyes are enjoying the season so far. After usually lighting up the scoreboard last year, Ohio State has had to turn their attention to defense this year after the loss of scorers like Mitchell. The Buckeyes are taking pride in doing everything they can to outwork their opponents.

With some tough wins starting to come for Ohio State, even in losses the Buckeyes are winning. Ohio State knows they won’t repeat the success of the last four seasons, but they also know they are laying the groundwork for another stretch of success that will likely begin next season. Those who will be with the program next year and going forward will already have a strong culture in place, which should help the talented recruiting class coming in be setup for success early on.

“We know Duluth’s a really good team. We like to take every weekend the same.”

Ohio State women’s ice hockey forward Emma Maltais via Griffin Strom, The Lantern

Ohio State had a tough matchup last weekend, as well as another on tap for next weekend, the biggest test for the Buckeyes might be this weekend. Last weekend the Buckeyes split a pair of games with top-ranked Wisconsin in Columbus, halting the 11-game winning streak of the Badgers. Next weekend the Buckeyes will host Minnesota, who is currently ranked second in the country.

This weekend Ohio State will travel to Minnesota-Duluth to take on the Bulldogs, who are just 8-10-2 on the season. What makes this trip so tricky for Ohio State is not only how this series is sandwiched between a couple of highly ranked opponents, but it is also on the road. Despite Minnesota-Duluth’s overall record this year, the Bulldogs have only dropped one game at home this year. The Buckeyes are just .500 on the road this year, which is even more of a reason as to why Ohio State is on high alert.

Luckily for Ohio State they do have some confidence heading into this road series. Not only did the Buckeyes move up two spots in the rankings after their win against Wisconsin, but Ohio State swept both games in Columbus earlier this year against Minnesota-Duluth. The Buckeyes know they’ll have a tough task this weekend against the Bulldogs, but heading into this weekend’s games their focus is in the right place.