Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Defensive Tackle

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Defensive Tackle

Spring 2018

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Defensive Tackle


Spring practice has started in Columbus, and we are continuing our preview look at each position group at Ohio State. It’s time to stay on the defensive side and look at the defensive tackle position.


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2018 Spring Preview Sections

Spring Overview | The Quarterbacks | The Running Backs | Offensive Tackle | Center | Tight End | H-Back | If Tate Martell Is The QB | If Joe Burrow Is The QB | If Dwayne Haskins Is The QB

Ohio State Spring Football Preview: Defensive Tackle

Ohio State’s defensive lines have been perhaps the most dominant position group over the last three years or so, but there are some key losses inside at the tackle position that will need to be replaced.

Never fear, there are others in the wings waiting to jump up and continue the tradition and groundwork that has been laid. We’ve already taken a look at the defensive ends, so we’ll focus just on the defensive tackle position as we dive right in.

Key Losses

Michael Hill

Hill didn’t get a lot of the publicity some of the others on the line got, but he was a big contributor. He was a five-year guy who had been through the battles and provided key depth at the position as a part of the rotation that kept fresh bodies in. He started 15 games in his career and finished with 37 tackles and 5.5 for loss that included two sacks.

Tracy Sprinkle

Sprinkle was also a fifth-year senior and had more starts on a deep and talented D-line than any other player (12). A co-captain from 2017, his leadership will also be missed along a line that will be bringing along some youngsters. He tallied sixteen tackles and three tackles for loss last year.

Returning Talent

Dre’Mont Jones

Jones will most likely step in and be one of the unquestioned leaders on the line, and play in the three technique (typically lined up on the outside shoulder of a guard). He was thrust into the starting lineup in 2016 because of an injury to Tracy Sprinkle and was recognized as a freshman all-american. He was a key cog in the defensive-line machine last year, and will be again this year. He may also slide into the rotation at defensive-end, but we’ll have to see how it all plays out. He could have gone to the NFL, but his return will be key for Ohio State.

Robert Landers

Landers will be a fourth-year junior and has had extensive playing time. He’ll get the reps on the first team playing opposite the nose guard and should be up for a potential captain as well. His numbers don’t jump out at you, but he often ties up O-linemen on the inside so others are free to be in the spotlight. He’s strong and athletic and will drop in coverage at times.

Jashon Cornell

Cornell will most likely back up Jones and could also see some time at the defensive end position. He is a fourth-year junior as well and got in on the rotation last year, but the coaching staff will be looking for even more in 2018.

Haskell Garrett

Garrett could make a huge jump in production this year. He was a highly touted defensive line recruit out of national power Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas, but played sparingly last year. If the light goes on, he could be a major factor this year. Either way, the coaches will be looking for more contributions this year.

davon hamilton

Hamilton — a junior that goes 6-4, 310 lbs. — has played substantial snaps but has yet to make the type of impact some of the more veteran players on the team did. There is role there for the taking with the departure of Sprinkle and Hill, and Hamilton will get an opportunity to seize a more substantial role. He has the size and talent to be a force if it all comes together. There’s a lot of depth ahead of him though, so if he cracks the rotation, it will have been earned.

malik barrow

Barrow missed all of last year recovering from an injury he sustained his senior year at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He was a four-star prospect that was a huge get when he committed to Ohio State, but he’s got some catching up to do. He should be ready to test out his rehabilitated injury and join the competition this year.

jerron cage

Cage got in on special teams last year, but that was about it. He was a consensus top fifteen defensive tackle according to most recruiting services in 2017, but he’ll need to work hard to punch his way out of the depth chart to get in on all the fun this year with the defensive line rotation.

Incoming class

tommy togiai

Togiai is best known for being Ohio State’s first ever recruit out of the state of Idaho, but there’s a reason the coaching staff went there to get him. He was the No. 3 rated defensive tackle in the entire 2018 class according to 247Sports, and the No. 55 overall prospect. He is 6-3, 290 lbs. and isn’t on campus yet, so he’s probably a year away from getting a shot to be a big part of things. He could be a star in the near future though. If you didn’t think Urban Meyer was excited to land the kid, check out the video above. It says it all.

antwuan jackson

Ohio State rarely goes the JUCO route, but it did to land Jackson in hopes of getting some immediate experience at defensive tackle. The 6-2, 305 lb. prospect has a body that can be inserted immediately, and if his production is anywhere near as good as it was at Blinn College in Texas, than Ohio State will have a key contributor right away. He was rated as the No. 1 DT in JUCO for 2018, but is recovering from an injury so we’ll have to keep an eye on how well he’s doing as practice continues.

taron vincent

Vincent is another one of those kids out of IMG Acadamy in Bradenton, FL (high school coaches should be warned about playing this program) and was rated as the No. 1 defensive tackle in all of the 2018 class. He is the son of former NFL defensive back Troy Vincent so you know the athletic lines are there. He was so dominant in high school that he was named the 2017 Maxwell Football Club National High School Defensive Player of the Year.  Keep an eye on him. He won’t be on campus until this fall, but he’s talented enough to push for playing time right away.

tyler friday

Friday is a four-star recruit out of Ramsey, NJ, but much less ballyhooed than some of the other defensive line recruits. Ohio State thinks they have a player that can develop and be a key contributor, but he’s probably at least a year away from getting into the mix.

Predicting the Pecking Order

Defensive Tackle (three technique)

  1. Dre’Mont Jones
  2. Jashon Cornell
  3. Taron Vincent*
  4. DaVon Hamilton
  5. Jerron Cage

Defensive Tackle (nose)

  1. Robert Landers
  2. Antwaun Jackson
  3. Haskell Garrett
  4. Tommy Togiai*
  5. Malik Barrow
  6. Tyler Friday*

* Freshman

 

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