Ohio State Football: Could this be the best group of ‘Super Sophs’ yet?

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 14: Running back J.K. Dobbins
LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 14: Running back J.K. Dobbins /
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COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 8: Tyler Natee /

Defensive end Chase Young has impressed everyone since he arrived on campus. He is 6-5, 265 pounds and was the No. 2 WDE in the 2017 class.

Young played well last season and would have started for most teams in the country. He will become a star this season, mark it down.

With openings in the middle of the line, defensive tackles Haskell Garrett and Jerron Cage each have an opportunity to make an impact. Each are now listed in the 295 pound range and have a year under their belt in coach Mick’s strength and conditioning program. The way Larry Johnson loves to rotate his big guys, you may see both of these players on the field often.

Coach Billy Davis has two second year linebackers who are absolute studs. Baron Browning and Pete Werner had fine freshman seasons and are ready to explode onto the scene, either playing in the middle or on the edge.

Browning is listed at 6-3, 238 pounds, Werner at 6-3, 235 and both are very athletic. Browning was the No. 1 OLB in the 2017 class and Urban Meyer can’t say enough good things about the young man. Werner was a special teams star last season and has a motor that won’t quit.

It’s hard to say just how good these two young linebackers can be.

The group of defensive backs Urban Meyer signed in the 2017 class was simply off the chart. Last year Jeffrey Okudah had an excellent season and proved he was deserving of his No. 1 CB ranking.

Now he is about to be joined in the defensive backfield by some of his classmates.

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Shaun Wade, the No. 2 CB in 2017, is making a push for coach Taver Johnson to have a four man rotation at the corners. He could be in the mix with Damon Arnette, Okudah and 2017 JUCO transfer Kendall Sheffield. And don’t sleep on Marcus Williamson, he has impressed the coaching staff and saw playing time last season.

The cornerback unit is so loaded that former four-star Amir Riep has been moved to safety. He and other second year players Isaiah Pryor and Brendon White will be competing for a starting spot. It wouldn’t surprise me if all three joined Jordan Fuller in the two deep for the first game of the season.

There is also Blake Haubeil who already made an impact handling kickoff duties last season. If the No. 1 kicker in the 2017 class improves in that department, and is effective on field goals and extra points, he will certainly be a key factor this season.

It will be quite a task for this group of second year players to match the accomplishments of the “Super Sophs” of 1968 and 2014. However, there are plenty of holes to fill heading into the season and nearly every player has the opportunity to make an impact in some way.

Next: How Urban Meyer continues to load his RB unit

Whether fair or not, the 2018 Ohio State football team must win a national championship for this group of sophomores to be considered in the same vein as the two mentioned above. However, with the number of talented players in the class, it’s entirely possible they will be.