COLUMBUS â€” 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.”
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, joiningÂ Jeremy RuckertÂ andÂ Chris Olave, who both announced theyâ€™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.