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Which defender from the Tressel era would you most like to have this Saturday?

Mike Doss
11% (213 votes)
Will Smith
4% (83 votes)
Chris Gamble
5% (93 votes)
A.J. Hawk
70% (1363 votes)
Malcolm Jenkins
4% (68 votes)
Cameron Heyward
4% (68 votes)
3% (49 votes)
Total Votes: 1937


216ToThe614's picture

James Laurinaitis

Pick up your feet, turn your corners square! And DRIVE DRIVE DRIVE!!!

Chise47's picture

And the choir says,"AMEN!!!!!"

cplunk's picture

Love Doss, but Hawk is perfect for what ails this defense. Or Laurinitis. Or Homan. 

buckeyedude's picture

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's picture

We need linebackers to show up badly!  Laurinaitis or Hawk

MAVBuck's picture

Any middle linebacker that can go sideline to sideline and actually wrap up!

Alex's picture

Agree with Laurinaitis here against Bell and not sure how he doesn't make the list....Chris must have beef!

Chris Lauderback's picture

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's picture

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!!!

lcrumley89's picture

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's picture

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.


yrro's picture

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's picture

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's picture

I still watch the youtube videos of his performance in that game occasionally.  And that of the cheapshot by Wade Grayson.

BME_Buckeye's picture

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's picture

I would love to see Hawk flying around in the Scarlet & Gray again.

GABuckeye's picture

I voted Gamble cause he can pull double duty - offense and defense.

gbm's picture

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's picture

We need a DB who isn't going to be missing tackles.


Scarlet_Buckeye's picture

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's picture

Linebackers by a landslide.

Because we couldn't go for three.

Buckeyeneer's picture

Hawk followed by Doss.

"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes

THE Ohio State University

chitown buckeye's picture

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's picture

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's picture

Brady Quinn's sister's husband. 

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

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's picture

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's picture

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's picture

I'm generally partial to front seven, but give me Doss!

Your Noble Savage is a Straw Yeti.

William's picture

Other: The best linebacker OSU has had this past decade, James Laurinaitis.

hodge's picture

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's picture


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's picture

Steve Tovar !  #58 --- another blast from the past

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Chris Lauderback's picture

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's picture

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's picture

Marek and Kat,  edit:  oops, this was from Coach Tress era.


Buckeyejason's picture

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. 


sb97's picture

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's picture

Hawk, Wilhelm, Laurinaitis

"You win with people." - Woody Hayes

Nappy's picture

Nice try, Matt Wilhelm

I never saw a football player make a tackle with a smile on his face

Bucks43201's picture

 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's picture

Li'l Animal was by far the best.GO BUCKS!

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then.

buckeyeEddie27's picture

upon further inspection of the title.....

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

shortbus20's picture

With a GREAT mlb we would not have any problems on this defense!!!

  • shortbus20
Kaceybrown's picture

We definitely need a star LB ASAP 

Maestro's picture

On THIS team it's Hawk all the way.

vacuuming sucks

Grayskullsession's picture

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's picture

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's picture

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 Illini country's picture

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's picture

Where does Donte Whitner fall? That guy can hit!

cplunk's picture

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's picture

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's picture

@ 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's picture

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....

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would be more obvious.

SouthBayBuckeye's picture


Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

BrewstersMillions's picture

**Shakes Angry Fist**
Excellent Spot sir. A sticker for you.

Do I come off as arrogant? Shame on me, I was hoping it would be more obvious.

buckeyestu's picture

chose doss, but second thoughts here, make me think a.j.hawk.

GlueFingers Lavelli's picture

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's picture


"Okay -- I've got an El Camino full of rampage here." 

SouthBayBuckeye's picture

He gets a vote for punching Lendale Mantitties White out. 

Banned from ATO since June 3rd 2PMish PST

osu07asu10's picture

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.



Tanner's picture

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's picture

All of the above

"YOLO" = I'm about to do something extremely ignorant/stupid & I need an excuse to do it.

cajunbuckeye's picture

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's picture

Hawk easily. He would help shut down Sparty's one dimensional run game/offense going sideline to sideline.