COLUMBUS — Headed into the home stretch of the 2019 season, Ohio State is playing this weekend without their top defensive player.
Defensive end Chase Young, who in recent weeks has been mentioned as a possible Heiseman Trophy candidate, has been suspended, at least for Saturday’s noon kickoff vs. Maryland.
In a statement accompanying the team’s weekly status report, Ohio State said Young will not play “due to a possible NCAA issue from 2018 that the Department of Athletics is looking into.”
That statement did not including information about nature of the issue or the potential length of Young’s absence.
Young is the No. 1 defensive player in the nation when it comes to sacks. He already has 13.5 this season, just one-half sack shy of the tying Ohio State’s single-season record. He recorded four sacks in Ohio State’s last game against Wisconsin, which thrust the junior into the Heisman Trophy conversation.
On Tuesday night, Ohio State was named the No. 1 team in the initial College Football Playoff rankings. Rob Mullens, chair of the CFP selection committee, mentioned Young by name as “probably the best defensive player in the country” when explaining why the Buckeyes’ dominance on both sides of the ball warranted the top spot.