Two Rushmen represent Buckeyes on Bednarik watch list

Pete Nakos2 months
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Zach Harrison by Birm-Lettermen Row
Zach Harrison's work this offseason is paying off on preseason watch lists. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

COLUMBUS — The Ohio State defensive line production dipped last season.

Without Heisman Trophy finalist Chase Young, the Buckeyes struggled. After a record-breaking 2019, the number of sacks took a significant dive and the constant backfield pressure wasn’t there. But Zach Harrison and Haskell Garrett can lead the resurgence this season. After a season filled with a low number of sacks, the two leaders of the Rushmen unit have the experience and skill to replenish boxscores.

That’s why both landed on the Chuck Bednarik award watch list on Monday morning. Presented to the best defensive player in the nation, the defensive lineman were listed along with 88 other of the nation’s top defensive players.

Haskell Garrett-Ohio State-Ohio State football-Buckeyes

Ohio State defensive tackle Haskell Garrett is returning for the Buckeyes. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

After being a solid role player for two years at defensive end, Harrison just had renewed confidence this spring. He reshaped his body in the weight room and the result was coaches raving about him. Now he is on the radar as a breakout player on the national scene.

Garrett was unavailable for spring camp with an undisclosed injury. But the All-American is expected to be fully healthy by the start of the season. He chose to return for another season after Ohio State’s loss to Alabama and he immediately adds depth the defensive lineman. More importantly, the Buckeyes have one of the most dominant forces up front on their roster.

“I feel like I’m just getting more comfortable,” Harrison said following the spring game. “The more and more plays I get, the more and more reps I get, the more and more success I feel like I’m having this spring, the more my confidence level goes up. And that’s everybody.

“I feel like that’s been one of the biggest things, really just the confidence level and feeling comfortable in my skillset and what I do.”

Zach Harrison and Haskell Garrett have the opportunity to make Ohio State’s defensive line the best in college football this season. The nation is taking notice, including the Chuck Bednarik award.