Ohio State has shown once again they are the class of the Big Ten, as defensive end Chase Young has been selected as the 2019-20 Jesse Owens Male Athlete of the Year. Young is now the fourth Buckeye to win the award in the last six years, with the last being wrestler Kyle Snyder in 2018. He joins Eddie George as the only Ohio State football players to win the award, after the running back took home the honor in 1996.
The award is the latest in a long list of accolades that Young has won over the past year, and comes on the heels of the defensive end being named Ohio State’s Male Athlete of the Year late last month. Young also won the Chuck Bednarik and Bronco Nagurski Awards as the nation’s most outstanding player, the Ted Hendricks Award as the nation’s top defensive end, and was named the Big Ten’s Defensive Lineman of the Year and the Defensive Player of the Year.
The outstanding defensive end finished the 2019 campaign with 16.5 sacks, which is a new school record. The output from Young last season is even more impressive considering he was suspended for two games due to an NCAA rules violation. For his career, Young finished with 30.5 sacks, which is second in school history behind Mike Vrabel’s 36 career sacks.
Young is the latest in a recent line of great defensive ends at Ohio State. The Maryland native was drafted in April’s NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins with the second overall pick, joining Joey Bosa and Nick Bosa as Ohio State defensive ends in the last five years to be taken with one of the first three picks in the NFL Draft. Now Young will be looking to replicate the outstanding rookie seasons of the Bosa brothers and Marshon Lattimore, who all have been named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in the past four seasons.
Even though Young already has high expectations to live up to when it comes to replicating some of the success that he has some recent Buckeyes achieve in the NFL, there’s no doubt that he has the talent to excel at the professional level. Not only will Young start his professional career not far from where he grew up, but he’ll also play alongside former teammates Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin in Washington.
Ohio State’s recent dominance when it comes to the Big Ten’s Male Athlete of the Year award could continue next year, as Justin Fields should be an early favorite to be the third Buckeye football player to win the award. Fields and the Buckeyes are not only considered one of the favorites to win the national title, but Fields could earn himself a trip to New York in December as a Heisman Trophy finalist.
Joining Young as Big Ten Athlete of the Year is Wisconsin women’s volleyball standout Dana Rettke. Not only did Rettke lead the Badgers to last year’s national title game, but she was also named a first-team All-American for the third consecutive year. Ohio State has seen three female athletes win the award, with the last Buckeye to win the award being track and field star Christina Manning in 2012.
While there has been some outstanding achievements by athletes and athletic programs around the Big Ten recently, nobody has been able to produce talent like Ohio State. While football receives the most attention, the work that other Ohio State teams are doing on the hardwood, on the diamond, and in the pool has been well documented. Athletic director Gene Smith and the coaches of all the sports in the athletic department should be proud of the work they have been able to do, establishing Ohio State as one of the national powers when it comes to college sports.