Ohio State defensive end Jack Sawyer became the first true freshman on the defensive side of the ball to shed his black stripe following the Buckeyes’ ninth practice of the spring on Tuesday afternoon.
“This guy does not lack any confidence at all, and the last couple practices, he’s been talking a lot of smack and backing it up,” assistant strength and conditioning coach Chris Fenelon said. “He also has a bright future.”
The 6-foot-4 and 240-pound Sawyer came to Ohio State as a five-star prospect from Pickerington (Ohio) North and was the highest-rated member of the Buckeyes’ 2021 recruiting class. He sat out his senior season with plans of enrolling early and playing in a potential spring season before the Big Ten reinstated the fall season, but was a MaxPreps All-American during his junior season when he recorded 37 tackles, 19 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks for the Panthers.
“I just want to thank all of the coaches, all of the older guys for accepting me when I came in here,” Sawyer said. “I’m happy to be a part of the brotherhood. Go Bucks.”
Sawyer will have a hard time cracking Ohio State’s rotation at defensive end this season with seniors Tyreke Smith and Tyler Friday and juniors Zach Harrison and Javontae Jean-Baptiste among those returning. It’s clear he’s made an impact in the limited opportunities he’s had at the position and on special teams, however.
Sawyer becomes the third player to shed his black stripe this spring, joining redshirt freshman defensive tackle Jacolbe Cowan and true freshman wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
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