Most defensive coordinators prefer to be based out of the 4-3 or 3-4, with a few 3-3-5 teams around college football sprinkled in, but with the talent Ohio State has stocked up in recruiting over the past few years, and the guys that have been developed, there’s a real possibility that the Buckeyes come out in a true 5-2 look with arguably the strongest defensive line unit in the country this fall
The Buckeyes return the reigning Freshman defensive lineman of the year Tyquan Lewis, as well as guys like Nick Bosa, Dre’Mont Jones, Sam Hubbard, and Jalyn Holmes, all of whom bring unique skill sets to Johnson’s position group.
“Coaches like to say you hold checkers. You have five really good checkers right there so play them all at once,” Meyer explained earlier this week, according to Eleven Warriors. “Those are little things that we’re talking about and trying and that’s what you get to do in spring.”
When Johnson was asked about the possibility of seeing five of his guys on the field at once come fall, he explained, “It’s still on the drawing board right now. We’ve got a plan. It’s just something we’re not doing right now. We’re trying to get fundamentally better. That is something that, when we go down the road, and we see fit, we’ll do it.”
It’s been a long time since a team used a true 5-2 look outside of a goal line package, so lots of eyes will be on what Ohio State comes up with to best utilize their talent. Smart money is on using one of their most versatile guys as a stand up OLB / DE hybrid I would think, but only time will tell what Meyer, Greg Schiano, and Johnson come up with for sure.
Football purists will be looking forward to that possibility against run-first teams on the Buckeyes schedule like Oklahoma (September 9th), Army (September 16th), Iowa (November 4th), Michigan State (November 11th) and of course The Team Up North (November 25th).
Hear more from Johnson in the clip.