Even though he wasn't allowed to play in Ohio State's last two games, Chase Young's standing as one of college football's best defensive players this season hasn't changed.
Young was named Wednesday as one of five finalists for this year's Bronko Nagurski Trophy, which is presented annually to college football's top defensive player by the Football Writers Association of America and the Charlotte Touchdown Club.
He is joined as a finalist by Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown, Georgia safety J.R. Reed, Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and Minnesota safety Antoine Winfield Jr., the son of former Ohio State cornerback Antoine Winfield.
In just eight games this season, Young has recorded 13.5 sacks, the second-most in the nation. He needs just one more sack to break Vernon Gholston's single-season Ohio State record of 14.
He has recorded 29 total tackles and 15.5 total tackles for loss and has also recorded five forced fumbles, a pass breakup and a blocked kick.
With Young leading the way up front, Ohio State's defense currently leads the nation in yards allowed per game (216.4), yards allowed per play (3.52) and points allowed per game (9.8).
Young was suspended for Ohio State's games against Maryland and Rutgers due to an NCAA violation, but will be back on the field Saturday for the Buckeyes' game against Penn State.
The winner will be announced on Dec. 9 at the Bronko Nagurski Trophy's annual banquet in Charlotte, North Carolina. Ohio State head coach Ryan Day will also be in attendance as the banquet's keynote speaker.
If Young wins the award, he would become Ohio State's second winner of the Nagurski Trophy, joining James Laurinaitis, who won the award in 2006.