In a decade that featured 10 first-round draft picks, five first-team All-Americans and four top five finishes for Ohio State on the defensive side of the ball, defensive end Chase Young had the best season of any of them.
Young shattered the school record for sacks in a season with 16.5, cruising by the original mark of 14 set by former defensive end Vernon Gholston in 2007. The tally placed Young at No. 1 in the country for quarterback takedowns and No. 4 in tackles for loss at 21.5.
After establishing himself as the NCAA’s premier threat off the edge, Young took home both the Bronko Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik awards as college football’s defensive player of the year, with Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American nod to boot.
It’s only fitting that Young was voted with more than half of the total votes.
Young established himself as a terror with an unrelenting pace in 2019, with seven sacks in four games en route to a nine-game streak of at least half a sack to open the year.
After his masterpiece performance of a four-sack, two-forced fumble outburst against then-No. 13 Wisconsin Oct. 26, Young’s season hit a road bump.
Young was suspended for Ohio State’s games against Maryland and Rutgers Nov. 9 and 16 after it was discovered that he accepted a loan in 2018 from someone he said on social media was a family friend.
Having already repaid the loan, Young was reinstated for Ohio State’s showdown with then-No. 8 Penn State Nov. 23. He responded with three more sacks and two more forced fumbles in a 28-17 Buckeye victory.
With Young anchoring the unit, the Buckeyes finished No. 1 in the country for total defense and No. 4 in scoring. He was essential to Ohio State’s 12-0 regular-season record, with subsequent Big Ten title and College Football Playoff appearances.
Young earned a fourth-place finish in the 2019 Heisman Trophy voting, the highest finish for a defensive player since former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o finished second in 2012.
Following a year replete with achievements and accolades, Young decided to forgo his final year of eligibility and enter the 2020 NFL Draft.
In just three seasons, Young accumulated 30.5 sacks, second only to former defensive end Mike Vrabel in Ohio State history. He added 98 tackles and 40.5 tackles for loss to that total.
Young projects as a top five overall pick in the draft, with many experts projecting him at No. 2 overall to the Washington Redskins.