Mike Doss 11% (213 votes) Will Smith 4% (83 votes) Chris Gamble 5% (93 votes) A.J. Hawk 70% (1364 votes) Malcolm Jenkins 4% (68 votes) Cameron Heyward 4% (68 votes) Other 3% (49 votes) Total Votes: 1938 Comments Show All Comments 216ToThe614 28 Sep 2012, 6:03 am James Laurinaitis Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!! WB Chise47 28 Sep 2012, 3:46 pm And the choir says,"AMEN!!!!!" cplunk 28 Sep 2012, 6:05 am Love Doss, but Hawk is perfect for what ails this defense. Or Laurinitis. Or Homan. buckeyedude 28 Sep 2012, 6:38 am We have a couple 5* at linebacker, yet I think having AJ Hawk would help this D the most. Go figure the recruiting agencies. dbit 28 Sep 2012, 7:40 am We need linebackers to show up badly! Laurinaitis or Hawk MAVBuck 28 Sep 2012, 7:49 am Any middle linebacker that can go sideline to sideline and actually wrap up! Normal Buck 28 Sep 2012, 7:58 am A.J. Damn Hawk! Alex 28 Sep 2012, 8:07 am Agree with Laurinaitis here against Bell and not sure how he doesn't make the list....Chris must have beef! Chris Lauderback Staff 28 Sep 2012, 10:28 am Ha! No beef. I was just trying to keep the list from being too long but should've had him on there. I guess in my mind, I think Hawk was the far superior LB whereas I think on the DL Smith/Heyward is kind of a stalemate for me just like Gamble/Jenkins at corner. 216ToThe614 28 Sep 2012, 11:04 pm Its not just his talent on the field, its his charisma. Just his presence made the team better. He was the heart and soul of the silver bullets Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!! WB lcrumley89 28 Sep 2012, 8:12 am I'd have to say Hawk or Laurinaitis, we need a MLB who is in on every tackle. “There are some people addicted to alcohol, some people are addicted to gambling,” Luginbill said. “Urban Meyer is addicted to football, and he’s addicted to winning.” 4dorr 28 Sep 2012, 8:13 am Does everyone remember what Cam Heyward did to Arkansas? That was one of the most dominating performances by an Ohio State DE I have ever seen. Arkansas had him doubled and tripled while chop blocking him the entire game... And he was on a bum leg. My vote went to Cam. Tomorrow yrro 28 Sep 2012, 8:41 am And an arm that needed Tommy John surgery after. Cam was a beast, he was just too slow to defend spread quarterbacks. Rushing someone like Mallett was the perfect situation for him. OldColumbusTown 28 Sep 2012, 9:17 am Remember his performances against Darryl Clark/PSU and Jeremiah Masoli/Oregon? I'd say he can defend spread quarterbacks. It was just a matter of it he was consistently getting double-teamed or not. sb97 28 Sep 2012, 10:53 am I still watch the youtube videos of his performance in that game occasionally. And that of the cheapshot by Wade Grayson. BME_Buckeye 28 Sep 2012, 8:19 am Hey I heard AJ Hawk can tackle. Is it true because if so, we need him back. Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see. buck i 28 Sep 2012, 8:36 am I would love to see Hawk flying around in the Scarlet & Gray again. GABuckeye 28 Sep 2012, 8:46 am I voted Gamble cause he can pull double duty - offense and defense. gbm 28 Sep 2012, 8:52 am Hmmm. Toughest question yet. Went w Doss. Prolly need a lb more but there can never be another one of him. He would make every single person on our d play to their full potential and more. Mix 28 Sep 2012, 8:54 am We need a DB who isn't going to be missing tackles. -Mix Scarlet_Buckeye 28 Sep 2012, 9:48 am It's gotta be Gamble. Yeah he doesn't help necessarily against Bell and MSU's running game, but he can play WR and provide us with that weapon on offense this team is so deserately missing at the wide out position. builderofcoalitions 28 Sep 2012, 9:54 am Linebackers by a landslide. Because we couldn't go for three. Buckeyeneer 28 Sep 2012, 10:21 am Hawk followed by Doss. "Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes THE Ohio State University chitown buckeye 28 Sep 2012, 10:31 am I agree, Hawk then Doss. What do both of them have in common? They can tackle! That is what this team is missing the most, pure open field tacklers! Hawk is needed at MLB for sure but it is a close second to have Doss creeping towards the LOS and putting his two cents on Bell. "I'm having a heart attack!" GoBucks713 28 Sep 2012, 10:28 am I went with AJ since there's no spot for JL. I'm still hoping that this is Grant's coming out party though. Until he has to play against an offense that comes at him instead of around the middle, I'm not sold on the opinion that he's a lost cause. I guess we will see what happens 3:30 tomorrow. -The Aristocrats! tennbuckeye19 28 Sep 2012, 10:31 am Brady Quinn's sister's husband. GlueFingers Lavelli 28 Sep 2012, 1:09 pm haha, Man I couldn't imagine getting my ass kicked on national television by my brother in law. Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball. zosima 28 Sep 2012, 10:32 am An All American LB would make this D a top 20 unit at least. I love the way Hawk played/plays, but I have to give the nod to Lil' Animal. Big slight that he didn't make the poll. Portland Buckeye 28 Sep 2012, 10:34 am Where's Wilhelm?! May not be as talented or have the ridiculous stats compared to others, but MLB is the piece this D is missing. Against Sparty, he's the All-American I pick given the team we already have on the field. Earle 28 Sep 2012, 10:35 am I'm generally partial to front seven, but give me Doss! Snarkies gonna snark. William 28 Sep 2012, 10:36 am Other: The best linebacker OSU has had this past decade, James Laurinaitis. hodge 28 Sep 2012, 10:38 am That's debateable, but what is certain is that AJ Hawk, Bobby Carpenter, and Anthony Schlegel comprised the best linebacking trio this university's ever seen. Chris Lauderback Staff 28 Sep 2012, 11:10 am Hodge: Definitely a top notch group but that would be an interesting post in and of itself. A few others to consider: 1985: Spielman, Pepper Johnson and Larry Kolic 1998: Katenmoyer, Diggs, Rudzinski 2002: Grant, Wilhelm, Reynolds '04/05: Carpenter, Hawk, Schlegel 2007: Larry Grant, Laurinaitis, Freeman I'm with you, I think Hawk, Carpenter and Schlegel is tough to beat but there are some other solid groups. Who you got next? I'll take the '85 group. Pepper Johnson should get more run than he does. He was an animal. I might even say '85 edges out '04/'05 on my list. Would have to take a deeper dive into the numbers. Bucks43201 28 Sep 2012, 11:12 am Steve Tovar ! #58 --- another blast from the past "You win with people." - Woody Hayes Chris Lauderback Staff 28 Sep 2012, 11:19 am Tovar was a beast. I didn't list any of his years though because the teams were bad and his fellow LB's weren't anything special. Names like Judah Herman, John Kacherski, Tom Lease...Herman could lay a big hit but that's about it. Craig Powell was the best LB that Tovar was ever paired with ('92) but as a trio, none of the corps he led were fantastic. As an individual player, no question he was a force. He reminded me of Pepper. hodge 28 Sep 2012, 11:21 am Alas, '85 was before my time--not to mention the fact that I was still pretty young when I was watching that fabled '98 squad--so it would be a disservice for me to rate them. I would say that the '04/'05 trio was easily the best of the last decade (I mean, look at a guy like Schlegel--easily the worst of the three, but he'd be starring on our current squad), and--based on my childhood memories of watching Diggs and Katenmoyer devour souls--I'd put that '98 squad up next. AGL 28 Sep 2012, 2:22 pm Marek and Kat, edit: oops, this was from Coach Tress era. AGL Buckeyejason 28 Sep 2012, 8:44 pm VOTE UP! 0 VOTE DOWN! 0 WILLIAM ON 28 SEPTEMBER 2012 - 10:36AM # Other: The best linebacker OSU has had this past decade, James Laurinaitis. Have to go with Hawk with JL a close second. Hawk was more athletic and made more plays..especially in the backfield. JL was just a tackling machine who was excellent in coverage. BUCKEYES BABY! sb97 28 Sep 2012, 10:46 am I picked Will Smith (Cam Heyward would have been my second choice from the list) but would love to see Brian Rolle out there. Rolle would have been my choice. Bucks43201 28 Sep 2012, 10:58 am Hawk, Wilhelm, Laurinaitis "You win with people." - Woody Hayes Nappy Mod 28 Sep 2012, 11:05 am Nice try, Matt Wilhelm I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face Bucks43201 28 Sep 2012, 11:08 am Big Kat, Lil Animal, Crazy Hawk (if we're allowed to go back to the past 15 years) "You win with people." - Woody Hayes BoFuquel 28 Sep 2012, 11:02 am Li'l Animal was by far the best.GO BUCKS! I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then. buckeyeEddie27 28 Sep 2012, 11:06 am upon further inspection of the title..... Hawk. I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there. shortbus20 28 Sep 2012, 11:05 am With a GREAT mlb we would not have any problems on this defense!!! shortbus20 Kaceybrown 28 Sep 2012, 11:06 am We definitely need a star LB ASAP Maestro 28 Sep 2012, 11:28 am On THIS team it's Hawk all the way. vacuuming sucks Grayskullsession 28 Sep 2012, 11:33 am Im going to go with Laurinaitis too. He was just a beast among men on the field and was a general. "if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now." SouthBayBuckeye 28 Sep 2012, 11:37 am Any former great at linebacker is the answer. I'd take present-day Chris Spielman if it were an option too. Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST Bucksfan 28 Sep 2012, 11:40 am What?! Did everyone forget to drink their morning coffee? Ohio State's defense is getting crushed on the edge. Opposing WR's are finding massive holes in the zones and blown coverages. On outside screens, our DBs are getting blocked 10, 15, and 20 yards up the field. Malcolm Jenkins is the only choice here as far as I'm concerned. I'm shocked he's last. I know we're a little thin at LB, and pressuring the QB hasn't exactly come together yet, but stopping the run hasn't been the issue. The pass coverage is some of the worst in the nation. Buckeye in Illi... 28 Sep 2012, 11:50 am Read Ross's Defensive breakdown from earlier this week and you'll understand why we need linebackers to step up. I would go: 1. AJ Hawk and/ or James Laurinaitis 2. Chris Gamble and/or Malcolm Jenkins. 3. Mike Doss (or even Kurt Coleman) Columbus to Pasadena: 35 hours. "We're on a road trip through the desert looking for strippers and cocaine... and Rose Bowl wins!" J.Mo 28 Sep 2012, 1:25 pm Where does Donte Whitner fall? That guy can hit! William 28 Sep 2012, 1:28 pm cplunk 28 Sep 2012, 1:01 pm The pass coverage is only bad because everybody is forced to play in different positions to cover for the weak linebacker play. With good linebackers, we'd be playing more press from the corners and put an end to all that short passing! Bucksfan 28 Sep 2012, 1:57 pm Well, identifying how one position weakness affects another position is a chicken-or-the-egg type of discussion. Ross's analysis very clearly illustrates that there are substantial problems with both positions, and he spends a lot of time discussing the confusion in the coverages. I don't really know if AJ Hawk by himself would be good enough to make up for the deficiency. Maybe so. Remember that he played alongside Bobby Carpenter, who is also still playing in the NFL. It is painfully obvious that there is no NFL-calibur cornerback on the edge...which is unacceptable at Ohio State. I can understand Hawk getting a majority of the votes. I just don't understand why an All-American shut-down cornerback gets the least # of votes. I think Ohio State linebackers get a lot of credit because they make the highlight reel. A shut-down corner gets forgotten. GlueFingers Lavelli 28 Sep 2012, 1:15 pm @ BUCKSFAN anyone else remember watching the ESPNU special, when Combs was explaining playing the Out route, and our DB's all kind of looked at each other like.... is this guy serious.... just let them catch the ball and tackle them?? Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball. BrewstersMillions 28 Sep 2012, 11:53 am Anyone who can consistently make a tackle, which really makes Malcolm, Doss, Hawk, and Laurinaitis very viable candidates. Of course, I'd love to see Will Smith back on the field. You know, a defensive end who actually impacts the games in which he is playing as opposed to just being hyped up to be really really good. And tough. And Fiery. And Scrappy.... SouthBayBuckeye 28 Sep 2012, 12:02 pm ANYONE Fieri? Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST BrewstersMillions 28 Sep 2012, 12:04 pm **Shakes Angry Fist** Excellent Spot sir. A sticker for you. buckeyestu 28 Sep 2012, 12:00 pm chose doss, but second thoughts here, make me think a.j.hawk. GlueFingers Lavelli 28 Sep 2012, 1:19 pm I'm shocked that Dustin Fox didn't make the list. I get not having Donnie Nickey, he would be out of his element. Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball. Sgt. Elias 28 Sep 2012, 2:47 pm ISWYDT +1 "Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." SouthBayBuckeye 28 Sep 2012, 5:15 pm He gets a vote for punching Lendale Mantitties White out. Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST osu07asu10 28 Sep 2012, 3:32 pm Malcom Jenkins... Because you can toss him on msu's best receiver, stay in the base 4-3 and know that not only is Malcom going to shut down his receiver, he is also going to seal the edge and keep running plays inside so our underperforming LBs can stick to the gaps and make tackles. In the event that (when) Bell would slip a tackle,...Malcom would already be in pursuit and stop it from becoming a huge play. Finally,...after making said plays, Malcom would provide energy and leadership this defense needs to keep them pumped and playing at a high level. Also helps get the crowd into it. GIVE ME MALCOM!!!! CJDPHoS Board of Directors // Best friends with Homey Hache The 0 is silent. fansince1968 28 Sep 2012, 4:12 pm Hawk & Laurinaitis Tanner 28 Sep 2012, 4:41 pm Hawk. On a team with linebackers that somehow lack both playmaking ability and assignment discipline, it'd be nice to have a player that had both in spades. Plus he has one of the all-time great names for a linebacker. That has to count for something. Buckeyevstheworld 28 Sep 2012, 5:34 pm All of the above "YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it. cajunbuckeye 28 Sep 2012, 7:05 pm Hawk for sure. No wait, Laurinaitis.Yeah, that's it. I said Hawk, didn't I? An angry fan...rooting for an angry team...led by angry coaches Buckeyejason 28 Sep 2012, 8:47 pm Hawk easily. He would help shut down Sparty's one dimensional run game/offense going sideline to sideline. BUCKEYES BABY!