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Chase Young named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy, given to the nation’s top defensive player

*Pretends to be shocked*

Wisconsin v Ohio State Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Young leads the nation with 1.69 quarterback sacks per game, and is second in tackles for loss with 15.5 and 1.9 per game. He is joined by Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Georgia safety J.R. Reed, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Minnesota defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr.

This seems like as good a time as any to remind you that Young leads a defense that is ranked:

  • 1 in the nation in total defense (216.4 yards allowed);
  • 1 in scoring defense (9.8 ppg);
  • 1 in passing yards allowed (126.0 ypg); and
  • 1 in red zone defense (61 pct.)

Meaning he should win this award by default, but what do I know?

“It would be surprising if Young didn’t play more snaps against the Nittany Lions than he has in any game this season. And it would be even more shocking if it didn’t continue to move him around the formation like it did against Wisconsin to keep getting him advantageous matchups.”

— Austin Ward, Lettermen Row

I know I know, you’re sick of hearing about Chase Young’s return. Wait, you’re not? I knew I liked you. The Ohio State standout makes his highly anticipated return against Penn State on Saturday and pretty much everyone in the nation except Penn State fans are excited to finally see him terrorizing quarterbacks once again after nearly four weeks.

As Austin Ward of Lettermen Row wrote, if you’re expecting a rusty performance from Young, you’re in for a pleasant surprise (or a really bad surprise for any Penn State, Michigan, LSU fans reading this). Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said Young has spent most of his suspension lifting weights, watching film, and resting up. Yikes.

Now, if any team during the regular season has a chance of slowing down Young, it’s Penn State. However, the same was said about Wisconsin, and the Buckeyes answered those claims with a few tricks up their sleeves, such as moving Young to different line positions and using him as a stand-up linebacker to throw off the Badgers’ protections.

If history is any indication, it’s likely Ohio State has more tricks planned for the junior defensive end this Saturday. According to Ward, however, they may not even need them.

But even if the Buckeyes just line him up for every snap in one spot and Penn State does make a concerted effort to slow him down, that’s probably not going to work. In fact, given the rise of the defensive tackles, the development of Tyreke Smith and Zach Harrison during his absence and the fact that Young has been almost unstoppable this season anyway, the Nittany Lions might create more headaches for themselves if they do throw extra bodies at the Predator.

Line him up in one spot, put him in at linebacker, heck— put him in as running back. No one is stopping Chase Young.

He has a very good shot at becoming the all-time reception leader at Ohio State too. Hill is only nine catches behind David Boston for No. 1 with 191. I foresee him breaking that record either this week against Penn State or next week against Michigan.

—David Wysong, Scarlet and Game

I didn’t realize I was under-appreciating Ohio State wide receiver K.J. Hill until I read Wysong’s article. This year, especially with the Heisman conversation escalating, J.K. Dobbins, Justin Fields, and Chase Young seem to make all the headlines. I even find myself answering “Chris Olave” when people ask me who the best wide receiver is on the Buckeyes’ roster. But, I think I’m gonna change my answer.

Hill has gradually become one of the most reliable receivers in Ohio State history. After catching 18 passes for 262 yards during his redshirt freshman season in 2016, he caught 56 passes for 549 yards in 2017 and 70 passes for 885 yards in 2018. Additionally, so far this year he has 38 catches for 423 yards.

He has the most catches on the team (Olave follows closely behind with 37) and ties Binjimen Victor with the second most receiving touchdowns (6).

Here’s what I didn’t know— he is currently eighth all-time in career receiving yards (2,199) which is more than Ted Ginn Jr., Joey Galloway and Michael Thomas (!!!). He is only 133 yards behing Doug Donley (2,252) and 176 yards behind Santonio Holmes (2,295) for sixth.

Even more impressive, he is second in Ohio State history for total receptions as a Buckeye (182) which is more than Cris Carter, Michael Jenkins, Holmes, and Gary Williams and is only nine catches behind David Boston (191) for No. 1— a record he will almost definitely break before the end of this season.

In other words, he is one of—if not the— best receivers to wear scarlet and gray, and I will not be taking him for granted during these last few months we have together.

Ryan Day’s message for Buckeye fans attending the game on Saturday: Be as loud and obnoxious as humanly possible.

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