One of the reasons Ohio State’s defense was near the top of every category in the nation was because of the defensive line. Junior defensive end Jalyn Holmes and redshirt sophomore defensive end Sam Hubbard already pledged to come back to OSU next season, but Thursday’s announcement was possibly the biggest.
Redshirt junior defensive end Tyquan Lewis, the team’s leader in sacks the past two seasons, told ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg that he will return to Columbus for his final season as a Buckeye.
With Lewis back for the 2017 season, the entire Rushmen package of Holmes, Lewis, Hubbard and freshman defensive end Nick Bosa that was an integral part in OSU’s 11th-ranked third-down defense will remain intact for a defense that has lost two men in the secondary thus far, along with its middle linebacker.
Lewis was named the Big Ten Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2016, leading the team with eight sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss. Lewis has played in every game but two since the start of the 2014 season and has started in 26 straight. He has a career 27 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks.