COLUMBUS — Jack Sawyer is already applying the pressure.
Physically that meant Ohio State offensive linemen trying to block him had their hands full in spring camp. Mentally it’s a test for just how patient the coaching staff can really be with a true freshman who has stardom written all over him.
It’s probably no surprise that a five-star prospect who spent his high-school summers learning from Larry Johnson in camp settings would show up and turn heads. But it’s still unusual for the Buckeyes to so openly talk about a role for an early enrollee during his first month of practices on campus, though his eye-popping in the spring game offered validation that the hype was real.
“Off to a great start, for sure,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said after Sawyer’s four-sack spring game. “He’s earning more and more reps, he’s working his way up the depth chart. I think across the board, our [defensive] line was solid this year. We have some good depth. Jack in particular came in with a lot of confidence, and he’s made a lot of plays. What you saw [in the spring game] was pretty much most every practice out there. If he can keep building, getting stronger and keep building, then hopefully he’s going to have an impact and be able to participate early in the season.
“We have a couple big games early on. So, the more depth we have, the better off we’re going to be.”
Sawyer went to work right away proving that he could supply some of that help for the Buckeyes, and it’s hard to imagine the Pickerington product not being a factor right away in some capacity.
How expansive can that role become? There’s still work to be done in training camp, of course — but a strong spring has Sawyer well on his way already.
What can Jack Sawyer bring to Ohio State as a freshman? How much will the five-star freshman impact the Buckeyes right away? Where will the toughest parts of the transition pop up for Sawyer? Former Ohio State captain Zach Boren was back in the Lettermen Row film lab to answer those questions and more in the latest episode of BuckIQ.
Roll the tape!
Lettermen Row senior writer Austin Ward contributed the editorial content for this post.