The college football season is just over three weeks away. With the Ohio State Buckeyes set to kickoff their season on Day 1 of the season with a matchup against Big Ten foe Indiana set for Thursday, August 31, there’s been plenty made about the talent that is currently in Columbus. Although they are young and inexperienced in plenty of areas on both sides of the ball, the Buckeyes are one of the most talented teams in college football.
One of their best units is expected to be the defensive line. With so much talent returning, along with the freshman and newcomers that have been added to the already dominant group, head coach Urban Meyer has said that it’s the best defensive line unit he’s ever coached. Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said the same. But there’s one major difference: Meyer has only coached in the college ranks, Schiano has coached in the NFL.
On BTN live, the defensive coordinator who is entering his second season with Ohio State, had plenty to say about his current group.
Here’s the key quote that compares his current defensive line to ones he has coached in the past:
“This is the most unselfish, humble group that I’ve ever been around,” Schiano stated. “Probably — not probably — the most talented group I’ve ever been around. They are all about each other. That’s what makes it fun to come to work every day with these guys.
“It is, and that’s not a joke,” he said. “We had a great player in Tampa by the name of Gerald McCoy, a tremendous player, but that was one guy. I go back to my days at Miami (as a defensive coordinator) in ’99 and 2000, this is clearly a better group than those guys, so that’s saying something.”
Seriously? Schiano believes that Ohio State’s defensive line group this year is that good? Even better than ones he has not only coached in the NFL, but throughout his coaching career? Yep.
Let’s take a look at some of the talent on the defensive line he has coached in his career:
- Miami (Florida) in 1999: first-round NFL Draft picks Damione Lewis and William Joseph, second-rounder Michael Boireau
- Tampa Bay Buccaneeers: Gerald McCoy (five-time Pro Bowler), Adrian Clayborn, Michael Bennett, William Gholston
Saying that the Buckeyes defensive front has more talent than Miami is alright, but an NFL team? That’s very bold, no matter how good (or bad) that NFL team may have been. Then again, the Buckeyes have plenty of talent on the defensive line. Two of the players — defensive ends Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis — are already projected first-round picks in 2018, with other dominate players as well, including Dre’Mont Jones, Nick Bosa, Jalyn Holmes, Michael Hill, Robert Landers, and Tracy Sprinkle, all of which could potentially be early-round draft picks when they enter the draft. Add in true freshman Chase Young, who looks like Jadeveon Clowney, and the talent on the defensive front will haunt opposing offensive lines all season.
Admitting that a college football team’s defensive line is better than an NFL’s is quite a bold statement, but with all the talent Ohio State has, it doesn’t seem to be fake news. If anyone knows, it would be Schiano. Opposing offensive lineman and backfields will find out in just over three weeks when Ohio State’s season kicks off. Good luck, opposing offenses.