If the Heisman Trophy truly goes to the “most outstanding” player in college football, voters may want to seriously consider Chase Young.
The Ohio State defensive end was back in action Saturday after sitting two games for an NCAA violation, and he was nothing short of dominant in his return.
When the Buckeyes were attempting to squeeze the life out of No. 8 Penn State, Young was everywhere and in every right moment in No. 2 Ohio State's 28-17 win, finishing with three sacks, four tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and nine tackles.
That seems gaudy, but Young was a whisker away from recording another sack, TFL, and forced fumble on a single play.
Oh yeah, he also finished the game with a new Ohio State single-season record for sacks, shattering Vernon Gholston's 12-year-old mark by two, with three, possibly four games to play.
Is Young the “most outstanding” player in America? It's not going to be easy to find someone having a better season, and more importantly, taking over games when his team needed him most.
In Ohio State's two biggest games of the season – against No. 12 Wisconsin in October and No. 8 Penn State Saturday (and incidentally, the last two games Young has played) – the 6-foot-6, 270-pound Young has seven sacks, nine tackles for loss, four forced fumbles, and 15 tackles.
Let that sink in.
“We have seen it the last two times Chase Young has been on the football field in huge ranked matchups. Seven sacks in two games. He is the best player in America,” FOX analyst Joel Klatt said during Saturday's broadcast.
“He's unblockable. He's a game-wrecker.”
What we're seeing out of Young is not normal. One defensive end should not have the ability to affect the flow of the game like he does, snuffing life from opponents when Ohio State needs him most.
Ryan Day knows it. “Big-time players step up in big-time games,” he said when asked about Young after the game.
1997 was the last time a defensive player won the Heisman Trophy. Before that, it had been 36 years since a player who took defensive snaps won college football's most prestigious trophy. For whatever reason, defenders aren't “eligible” to win the trophy.
Following the game, Young was mobbed by Ohio State fans chanting “CHASE FOR HEISMAN!” Even with silly unwritten rules about defensive players not winning the award, Young is a legit Heisman candidate.
But don't take our word for it.
Chase Young is special man.— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) November 23, 2019