Tyreke Smith will return to Ohio State for his senior season

Tyreke Smith will return to Ohio State for his senior season

Aritcle written by:Jeremy BirminghamJeremy Birmingham

Birm

Tyreke Smith 6 by Birm-Lettermen Row
Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith has a chance to be a dominant player for the Buckeyes this fall. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

COLUMBUS — Ohio State junior defensive end Tyreke Smith is returning to the Buckeyes for his senior season.

The talented and versatile Smith announced his decision on Monday night.

“The adversity that took place this past season was difficult and challenging,” Smith wrote on Twitter. “But I’m thankful for everything because it made me a better person physically and mentally. It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity for the 2021 NFL Draft however I will be returning to Ohio State for my senior season.

“There’s still unfinished business that needs to be taken care of.”

Tyreke Smith-Ohio State-Buckeyes-Ohio State football

Ohio State defensive end Tyreke Smith will be back next season. (Birm/Lettermen Row)

Smith was one of the Buckeyes most efficient pass-rushers in 2020, but he missed the national championship against Alabama due to Covid-19 protocols. He has four sacks in his career, although he has been an impactful player in pass-rush situations and against the run while splitting time for the Buckeyes. With the loss of Jonathon Cooper, Smith is set to be Ohio State’s top defensive end in 2021.

A Cleveland Heights product, Tyreke Smith has struggled at times in his career to stay healthy. But his upside and athletic talent make him an interesting NFL prospect down the road, as does his experience working and developing under Larry Johnson.

“I want to thank Coach Johnson,” Smith said. “For instilling the Rushmen culture in me, shaping me into the player I am today.”

Smith is the third big-time player to announce his return to the Buckeyes roster on Monday, joining Jeremy Ruckert and Chris Olave, who both announced they’d be back at Ohio State next season. Three different Buckeyes — Justin Fields, Wyatt Davis and Tommy Togiai — all announced they’d be heading off to the NFL as well during a busy Monday.

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