This Buckeye team is going to pose problems for every opponent they face they year, regardless of how good the squad is on the other sidelines. With that in mind, many of us already know about the exploits of quarterback CJ Stroud, running back TreVeyon Henderson and wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, so they won’t be featured here. There are other members of the Ohio State team that could give Notre Dame issues on Saturday night and here they are.
Follow Mike on Twitter: @MikeFChen
Defensive end Jack Sawyer
Aug 5, 2022; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Jack Sawyer (33) during practice at Woody Hayes Athletic Center in Columbus, Ohio on August 5, 2022.
Ceb Osufb0805 Kwr 25
The former five-star looks to be coming into his own after getting some playing time last year. He should be the starter opposite Zach Harrison, each of them had 3 sacks last year, but Sawyer took down the quarterback in significantly less playing time. That was good enough to be tied for second on last years team and with more playing time those numbers should rise. Hopefully, Sawyer doesn’t get off to a fast start against the Irish.
Wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr.
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) celebrates a touchdown by wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. (18) during the fourth quarter of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2022.
College Football Rose Bowl
Most of the attention will be shifted towards JSN and rightfully so but the former Pro Bowler’s son is talented in his own right. In his coming out game against Utah in the Rose Bowl, Harrison Jr. caught six balls for 71-yards and three scores. A massive frame will give many defensive backs problems at six-foot-four-inches and 205-pounds. He also showed great chemistry with Stroud and the Irish secondary can not forget about him.
Safety Ronnie Hickman
Jan 1, 2022; Pasadena, CA, USA; Utah Utes running back Tavion Thomas (9) runs against Ohio State Buckeyes safety Ronnie Hickman (14) and safety Bryson Shaw (17) in the first quarter during the 2022 Rose Bowl college football game at the Rose Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Although the Buckeye defense struggled against top competition last season, Hickman did not. The leading tackler with 98 stops also chipped in a sack and two interceptions with one being returned for a score. Hickman will be tasked with keeping the back-end of a new scheme clean and occasionally coming into the box to make plays. He’s one of the leaders of the Ohio State defense.
Offensive tackle Paris Johnson Jr.
Team Buckeye offensive guard Paris Johnson Jr. (77) leaves the field following the Ohio State Buckeyes football spring game at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, April 17, 2021.
Ohio State Football Spring Game
It’s not often that we give offensive linemen love when previewing a contest but here we are. Johnson Jr. is viewed as a potential first-round selection and that alone should bring eyes to him. After playing right guard last year, he will move out to left tackle and cover Stroud’s blind side. Another former five-star, Johnson Jr. is absolutely massive, standing six-foot-seven-inches and 295-pounds will have his work cut out for him but has the ability to shut down the Irish edge defenders.
Cornerback Denzel Burke
Ohio State Buckeyes cornerback Denzel Burke (29) intercepts a pass during the first quarter of a NCAA Division I football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Cfb Ohio State Buckeyes At Rutgers Scarlet Knights
During his true-freshman year, Burke got significant playing time for last years struggling defense. He made the most of it, making 28 tackles and grabbing one interception. Although Burke’s pick numbers weren’t outstanding, he defended 12 passes so if he turns a few of those into takeaways, then you’re looking at a very good corner. His size is solid and he matches up well with the Irish receivers. Burke could give quarterback Tyler Buchner and his targets fits on Saturday.