Skip to main content

Buckeyes top On3 list of best defensive line/EDGE units in country

Spencer-Holbrookby:Spencer Holbrook05/13/24


COLUMBUS — Ohio State returns its top four defensive ends from a year ago. It brings back three of its top four defensive tackles. And reinforcements have landed in Columbus to help that effort even further this fall.

Put all that talent together in one room, and the Buckeyes expect to have the best defensive line in the country come football season.

Whether it’s J.T. TuimoloauJack Sawyer, Kenyatta Jackson and Caden Curry on the edge or Tyleik Williams and Ty Hamilton, along with key youngsters making progress, the Buckeyes have everything they need to be at the top of the sport in the trenches.

On3 national writer Jesse Simonton agrees, which is why he ranked the Buckeyes as the best EDGE/defensive line units in college football. He ranked the Buckeyes over everyone else. Michigan is No. 2, while Georgia, Oregon, Clemson, Ole Miss, Notre Dame, Florida State, Tennessee and Penn State round out the top 10.

Simonton’s reasoning for placing Ohio State above everyone else can be found below.

Few anticipated that the Buckeyes would return their top three defensive linemen from the 2023 season, yet here we are. Edge/ends J.T. Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer, two former 5-star recruits, opted to try to play their way into 2025 1st Round NFL Draft picks, and the seniors will anchor a unit that also has tackles Tyleik Williams and Ty Hamilton back. 

Tuimoloau and Sawyer combined for 20 tackles for loss, 11.5 sacks and double-digit hurries. In reserve, Larry Johnson’s unit doesn’t have the greatest depth, but Kenyatta Jackson, another former 5-star recruit, is vying for an increased role, while Caden Curry, Hero Kanu and Tywone Malone should fit into the rotation, too. 

There’s an opportunity for 5-star freshman Eddrick Houston to push for snaps if he can carve out a role.

Jesse Simonton, On3

As the position group rankings keep being rolled out this week by Simonton, expect to see the Buckeyes ranked highly on each list. The defense could be the best in the country, and it’s loaded with returning playmakers at every level.

The defensive line and edge are no exception. Simonton made that quite clear with his lofty ranking.

The Ohio State offensive line unit appeared in Simonton’s ‘Best of the Rest’ category, just missing the top 10. LSU, Texas, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma State were in Simonton’s top five. Oregon, Missouri, Miami, Tennessee and Ole Miss rounded out the top 10 in the offensive line rankings.

Ohio State could improve to get into that top 10 as the offseason continues.

That ranking continued the showing that Ohio State should have one of the best — if not the best — offenses in the sport this upcoming fall. Simonton recently ranked the Ohio State quarterback room as the second-best in the country, behind only Texas, and he ranked the Buckeyes tailback room as the No. 1 unit in the country.

He also made sure to rank the Ohio State wide receiver unit as the top group in college football, as well. He did not, however, have the Buckeyes tight end room ranked in his list of the best tight end groups in the country.

None of this should come as a surprise. But as the season continues to draw closer, the buzz keeps growing for this Ohio State team that could be the No. 1 team in the country when preseason polls begin leaking out.

You may also like