5 D-linemen on the field at once? It could happen

Kevin Stankiewicz, Staff
Buckeye Grove

USA TODAY Sports Images

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer floated the possibility earlier in the week but defensive line coach Larry Johnson on Thursday preferred to stay mum on it. Meyer’s idea? Playing five defensive linemen at the same time in non-goal-line situations.

“We have five premier in my mind, four defensive ends and Dre’Mont Jones, that I would like to see all five on the field at one time,” Meyer said Tuesday during his weekly press conference. “Those are five really, coaches like to say, how are the checkers? You have five really good checkers right there, play them all at once.”

It's a frightening suggestion for opponents. Four defensive ends — Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard, Nick Bosa and Jalyn Holmes — who each could likely start on any team in the Big Ten with Jones, a former defensive end, on the field at once? Good grief. Pick an adjective — menacing, terrorizing, destructive, unstoppable — all would likely suffice.

Not so fast. Johnson knows what Meyer said on Tuesday, but the third-year defensive line coach tried to pump the breaks on the public’s runaway imagination.

“Wink, wink,” Johnson said while cracking a smile, knowing that wasn't what the reporter wanted to hear. “We’re not talking about the five-man factions yet. It’s too early for that. It’s too early for that. We haven’t even thought about it. We’ve got a plan for it, but it’s too early to do anything the spring about it.”

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