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Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State building depth on already loaded defense

Cameron Brown-Ohio State-Ohio State Buckeyes-Ohio state football
Ohio State cornerback Cameron Brown has become a reliable backup for the Buckeyes. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Scarlet Sunrise

Scarlet Sunrise: Ohio State building depth on already loaded defense

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Ohio State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Ohio State stockpiling depth on defense

On paper, Ohio State is one of the five most talented defenses in the country. The recruiting rankings and defensive statistics don’t lie.

But what should be scary for the rest of the Big Ten is that the Buckeyes are just starting to build their depth on defense.

“We’re trying to play anybody that has earned the right to play,” co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison said. “Our kids in practice practice extremely hard. They bought in to the top as they can. Therefore, when it gets time, when somebody gets tired or somebody needs to come off, it’s great to be able to put somebody in there. And they step forward.”

Younger guys such as Zach Harrison, Josh Proctor and Cameron Brown have all seen more playing time in the last two games, a sure sign that the Buckeyes are beginning to add to an already deep stable of defensive players.

Chase Young gaining Heisman Trophy buzz?

Chase Young has played like the best defensive player in the country this year. He can probably even lay claim to the title of “best player in the country,” offensive or defensive.

So why isn’t he gaining Heisman Trophy buzz? He has 8.5 sacks on the season, which is better than the pace needed to break the single-season Ohio State sack record. If he continues on this tear through November, the voters may have no choice but to invite him to New York for the Heisman ceremony.

What makes Chase Young so special? Former Buckeyes linebacker Zach Boren was in the Lettermen Row film lab again to break down Young and answer those questions in the latest BuckIQ.

Roll the tape!

Senior Tackle with Jaxon Smith-Njigba

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, a receiver from Rockwall, Texas, is back for another edition of Senior Tackle. The senior Ohio State commit talked about winning a high school rivalry game, coming to Columbus, visiting Ohio State for the game against Michigan State and bonding with fellow receiver commits. For fans of Ohio State recruiting content, it’s a must-read.

To find the latest Senior Tackle with Jaxon Smith-Njigba, click here.

Latest on 2020 quarterback situation

With all the transferring in and out of the program, Ohio State is in an interesting position in its 2020 recruiting class when it comes to the quarterback spot. Jack Miller has been committed since last summer, but the Buckeyes need a second quarterback in the class to have a full room.

Luckily, Lettermen Row recruiting guru Birm is good at making sense of all this, including where the Buckeyes stand with 4-star quarterback C.J. Stroud.

Here’s his latest from Dotting The ‘Eyes:

So what happens from here between Stroud and the Buckeyes? That’s kind of the million-dollar question.

The expectation is that Stroud will return to Ohio State for an official visit in November. What game that ends up being is up in the air, but there are only two home games on the slate then to pick from, so expect the 6-foot-3, 195-pound quarterback to be at one of those. He’ll also take official visits elsewhere, and Oregon and Baylor are two schools that have been closely linked to Stroud for months — so they’re likely to land official visits.

This offer is big for Stroud and big for the Buckeyes. But it’s not a case where a quick decision is expected.

So what does this mean for Jack Miller? Find out in the latest Dotting The ‘Eyes.

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Spencer Holbrook

Spencer Holbrook covers Ohio State football and basketball for Lettermen Row. A graduate of Ohio University's Scripps School of Journalism, he's in his second year covering the Buckeyes. He was previously the sports editor at Ohio's student newspaper, The Post, where he covered Ohio University football and men's basketball.