Ohio State Football: Starting linebackers for Bucks an impressive group

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 29: Sam Darnold /

This year’s Ohio State football team is loaded with talented linebackers. That’s why it’s so interesting two sophomores were named as starters.

Defensive coordinator Greg Schiano announced who will start at linebacker when the Ohio State football team takes the field to face Oregon State. Steve Helwagen of 247Sports reported Schiano named Pete Werner, Baron Browning and Malik Harrison as starters for the first game during Monday’s press conference.

It’s interesting with the talent in the linebacker unit that two sophomores, Browning and Werner, have earned starting spots. But it’s not surprising.

Browning was a five-star recruit in the 2017 class. He was ranked as the No. 1 outside linebacker and the 11th best player overall.

Browning has impressed everyone since he arrived on campus. Last season he registered 14 tackles with 1.5 for a loss as a true freshman.

I don’t think anyone doubted Browning would make an impact this season. The only questions were, with his size and athleticism would it be as an outside linebacker, play in the middle or both.

Pete Werner was ranked as the 14th best inside linebacker in the 2017 class and the No. 277 player overall. Talk about an undervalued recruit.

In limited action last season Werner was a missle covering kicks. He only had nine tackles for the season but he always seemed to disrupt the return team.

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Werner had a terrific spring, and in fall camp earned a starting position.

Speaking of undervalued recruits, Harrison was ranked as the No. 48 athlete in the 2016 class. Did any of you watch this guy play last year? Recruiting ‘experts’ certainly got this one wrong.

Filling in at outside linebacker last season, Harrison registered 36 tackles with three for a loss. Expect big things from this third year player.

Things may change when Tuf Borland and Dante Booker are completely healthy. But these three linebackers will have the opportunity to prove they belong in the starting lineup, and soon.

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The first Ohio State football game is just a few days away. I for one can’t wait to see Browning, Werner and Harrison flying around the field.