Ohio State's defensive line just got a little deeper.
Fifth-year senior Michael Hill is set to return from suspension this week after missing the first six games of the 2017 season for undisclosed reasons.
Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano confirmed Hill's return following practice Tuesday evening.
"It’s a good shot in the arm at midseason to get a guy back who is experienced, who’s played. Again, I don’t know what it’s going to be, how much playing time," Schiano said. "We’ll let that all play out and how Coach (Larry Johnson) plans to use him, but he’s an experienced guy who’s played real good football for us over time."
Hill has been a consistent contributor along the Ohio State defensive line since the 2015 season, but has played in some capacity in each season he has been on campus since arriving with the 2013 class.
Hill played in three of Ohio State's first four games in 2013 before earning a redshirt. In 2014, Hill saw action in four games and recorded his first career sack against Rutgers, but was buried on the depth chart behind the likes of Michael Bennett, Adolphus Washington and others.
The South Carolina native earned his first significant playing time in 2015, playing in all 13 games as the primary backup behind Washington and Tommy Schutt. He finished with 12 total tackles and 0.5 tackles for loss.
Last season, Hill started opposite Jones at defensive tackle and finished the season with Honorable mention All-Big Ten honors by both the coaches and media. He collected a career-best 21 tackles with three for loss in 13 contests.
Schiano said that there has been a collective effort among coaches and players to keep Hill engaged and positive during his time away from the team.
"We all have. Mike’s taken a great attitude about it, and now it’s done, so got to go," Schiano said.
The Buckeyes are also expecting to get fellow defensive tackle Dre'Mont Jones back this week. Jones suffered a leg injury that required stitches in the locker room prior to Ohio State's game against Rutgers and has missed the last two weeks. He was seen in a non-contact orange jersey following practice on Tuesday.
Schiano said the Buckeyes are taking a day-by-day approach with Jones as he recovered from the injury.
“So far, so good. We’ll see," Schiano said. "I don’t know what that means by the end of the week, but what we asked him to do today, he looked good so we’ll keep going, step by step.”