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3 Ohio State Defenders Who Must Step up in Chase Young's Absence

COLUMBUS, OH - AUGUST 31:  Jeff Okudah #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes defends against the Florida Atlantic Owls at Ohio Stadium on August 31, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Ohio State Buckeyes look a bit more mortal at the moment. After allegations of receiving a personal loan, Ohio State has decided to sit star DE Chase Young as they await further word from the NCAA, making him unavailable to play this Saturday against Maryland. So here are three Buckeyes defenders that must step up in his place.

3. Jeff Okudah

COLUMBUS, OH - OCTOBER 6:  Nick Westbrook #15 of the Indiana Hoosiers catches a 19-yard touchdown pass over Jeffrey Okudah #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second quarter at Ohio Stadium on October 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

The Ohio State CB is also expected to be a top-10 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft alongside Young. He's had a nice season so far, recording three interceptions and one forced fumble, but will need to lead the secondary in the absence of Young and the Buckeyes' typically-dominant pass rush.

2. Jordan Fuller

COLUMBUS, OH - NOVEMBER 24: Jordan Fuller #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes looks to make a tackle against the Michigan Wolverines during the game at Ohio Stadium on November 24, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. Ohio State won 62-39. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Fuller has been consistent all year, recording 30 solo tackles and two interceptions. But he now has more responsibility than ever before with OSU's pass rush missing a key player. Maryland (and others if Young misses extensive time) will look to take advantage of the Buckeyes secondary. Fuller must be ready.

1. Malik Harrison

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 01:  Malik Harrison #39 of the Ohio State Buckeyes attempts to make a tackle during the first half in the Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at the Rose Bowl on January 1, 2019 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual - Washington v Ohio State | Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

With Young out, Malik Harrison will be asked to provide not only a leadership role, but also a boost in the pass rush. Behind Young, Harrison is second on the team with 3.5 sacks. The Buckeyes will have to bring pressure from sources other than just their defensive line. Expect Harrison to come up big.