COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio State football will lose four senior linebackers after the upcoming season, and three more after 2021.
Working linebackers coach Al Washington and the rest of Ryan Day’s staff running over the past year have helped ensure the Buckeyes establish another wave of talent ready to get behind this exodus.
Gabe Powers of Marysville became the last engagement on Saturday night. He joins CJ Hicks of Archbishop of Dayton Alter as a linebacker for the 2022 promotion.
The two are four-star prospects who can combine to give Ohio State several outside linebacker options alongside 2021 middle linebacker Reid Carrico d’Ironton.
This Ohio state could find so much linebacking talent in the state and locking it down so soon could be one of the keys to these classes’ long-term defensive success.
At 6-4, 220, Powers comes from a family of linebackers. His father, Mike, was an All-American Division II at Findlay; and his brother, Mikey, played for West Virginia and is currently on the transfer portal.
As late as 2018, linebacker play was seen as the weakest link in an below-par Ohio state defense. Malik Harrison, Tuf Borland, Baron Browning and Pete Werner changed that narrative last season. The last three are expected to carry an even greater load on defense in 2020.
Then they pass the baton to Dallas Gant, Teradja Mitchell and K’Vaughn Pope. As this group of veteran talent gives Ohio state stability for the next two seasons, Washington also needed to set the stage for success going forward.
Powers fits the Buckeye mold in many ways – a local talent with a national profile and the look and mindset of a traditional linebacker. It has great straight line and horizontal speed for its size. Marysville used these skills on offense as well, and Powers showed the speed to get around the edge and escape as well as the agility to shoot an occasional pass.
In his announcement live via Eleven Warriors, Powers said Washington discussed his use as Sam’s linebacker, able to blitz the edge and handle tight ends of cover as well.
He is No. 1 in the outside linebacker prospect in the nation at 247, and No. 2 in the national composite.
Carrico holds that ranking among inside linebackers for 2021. The Buckeyes aren’t just restocking the linebacker room, they are doing it with the best consensus options in the country.
New Ohio State Face Masks For Sale: Here’s where you can buy Ohio state-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection. A 3-pack is available on Fanatics for $ 29.99.
More Buckeyes Blanket
Ohio state named 2020 Big Ten favorite in cleveland.com preseason poll
Why our Cleveland.com Big Ten preseason football poll matters – so we know exactly what could be lost: Buckeye Take
Justin Fields of Ohio State won Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year in cleveland.com preseason poll
Big Ten could delay scheduled start of preseason football camp again
Analysis of our pre-season Big Ten football poll, with results from Ohio State and Justin Fields: Buckeye Talk Daily Pod
Penn State’s Micah Parsons is unanimous favorite for Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year in cleveland.com preseason poll
Jager Burton, Ohio State’s 4-star target in 2021, brings skillful qualities to the offensive line, his coach said: Buckeyes Recruiting Roundup
Former Ohio State lineman Isaiah Prince, now with the Cincinnati Bengals, retires from 2020 NFL season
Big Ten Football Preseason Poll Results: Buckeye Talk Video
Trade Justin Fields – Would Ohio State QB beat the Buckeyes if they played for other teams? Buckeye Discussion Podcast
The 5-star talent awaiting 2020 Ohio State Football roster: Buckeye Take
Tywone Malone has ‘unlimited’ potential, coach says: Buckeyes Recruiting Roundup