Three best defensive players for the Ohio State football team in 2024

As we head into the second week of Spring practice, we look forward to the season by ranking the three best Ohio State football players on the defensive side of the ball.
Sep 17, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau (44) celebrates
Sep 17, 2022; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end J.T. Tuimoloau (44) celebrates / Adam Cairns/Columbus Dispatch / USA
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The Ohio State football team is poised to win big in 2024. All of the moves they have made were to get this team ready for a deep run. The 2023 season ended in crushing fashion and it was due to the fact that the roster wasn't built to play tough on either side of the ball.

Ohio State made adjustments to fix that. Today, we will focus on the defensive side of the ball. The Buckeyes played extremely well on defense for most of the season. They finished the year top-three in points per game, yards per game, and pass yards per game.

Yet, they weren't able to stop Michigan when they needed to do it at the end of the game. That final drive by them is what drove the Buckeyes to make the defensive coaching changes and the roster changes that they did in the offseason. That was the drive that ended their season.

While the entire defense is really good, we decided to choose a top three. All of these guys have a shot to be First-team All-American this year if they play to their full abilities. We are starting with the third-best player on the defense, a member of the defensive line.

3. J.T. Tuimoloau

The defensive line was bolstered when both Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau decided to come back for 2024. Tuimoloau was a borderline first-round pick, so getting him back was massive. The former number-two overall recruit in the country is back because he wants to win a national championship.

Jim Knowles' defensive system doesn't quite showcase all of the skills that make JTT special. His sack numbers haven't been strong in his career as he only has 11 in three seasons. Still, he can singlehandedly take over games and has done so multiple times in his career.

His pressure numbers are high though. He makes quarterbacks move around in the pocket and makes them extremely uncomfortable. He had another big game against Maryland, recording four tackles and 1.5 sacks. The goal is for him to put up some higher totals this season.

Having JTT back is big for a unit that is looking to be stouter at stopping the run. While they were a top-25 defense at stopping the run, that's not quite good enough. That's especially true against elite running teams, like Michigan was. JTT is hoping to help with that.

The next player on our list is actually a brand-new addition and is just a sophomore.