Jack Sawyer, welcome to the club.
The five-star defensive end became the first true freshman on the defensive side of the ball to lose his black stripe this year following Tuesday's ninth practice of the spring.
Sawyer and Marvin Harrison Jr. joined second-year defensive lineman Jacolbe Cowan as the second and third Buckeyes to have their black stripes removed this spring.
It had seemed as though there would only be a matter of time until Sawyer – the third-highest-ranked signee in Ohio State history – went through the ritual. In fact, Eleven Warriors readers voted him on Monday as the most likely freshman to first lose his black stripe, narrowly edging out TreVeyon Henderson.
This spring, Sawyer is getting his first dose of college football while also trying to prove he belongs in Larry Johnson's defensive end rotation. Zach Harrison, Tyreke Smith, Tyler Friday and Javontae Jean-Baptiste are all upperclassmen at his position, but Sawyer – listed at 6-foot-4 and 240 pounds – entered the program with plenty of hype given his status as the nation's No. 4 recruit despite sitting out his senior year at Pickerington North.
During Monday's spring practice that was open to the media, Sawyer was seen working as a blocker on the punt team, and it's likely his efforts on special teams also contributed to his black stripe removal.
Before even enrolling, Sawyer predicted he would have tears in his eyes during the first padded practice he experienced at Ohio State. Given his black stripe removal, he evidently wasted no time making a strong impression.
|JACOLBE COWAN||DL||APRIL 2|
|MARVIN HARRISON JR.||WR||APRIL 6|
|JACK SAWYER||DE||APRIL 6|