Ohio State Defensive End Mitchell Melton Will Miss Second Straight Season with Injury

By Dan Hope on May 6, 2022 at 12:39 pm
Mitchell Melton

An injury will keep Mitchell Melton on the sidelines for a second year in a row.

The third-year defensive end is expected to miss the entire 2022 season after suffering a torn ACL in the spring game, Ryan Day confirmed on Friday.

Day is confident Melton will make a full recovery for 2023 even though he is now set to miss another season.

“He'll be on the road to recovery,” Day said. “I saw him earlier today with his family, and it's hard when you embrace these injuries, because you know it's gonna be a long road back. And that's why it's so important to have (physical therapist) Adam Stewart still be a part of the program, because he's a big part of their lives and their recovery and their rehab. And he's the best in the business. So the good news is we have great resources and these guys are in good hands. The negative is it's a long road back to recovery.”

Before the injury, Melton was making progress toward earning a potential role in Ohio State’s defensive end rotation this year. After starting his Ohio State career at linebacker, Melton moved into Larry Johnson’s position group this spring and was named by coaches as a candidate to play the hybrid linebacker/defensive end Jack position that Knowles is adding to Ohio State’s defense.

Unfortunately for Melton, that momentum screeched to a halt in the second quarter of the spring game, marking the second straight year Melton has suffered a season-ending injury during the spring.

“He's a great kid, and I'm just sad for him,” Knowles said Friday.

Now a redshirt sophomore at Ohio State, Melton has yet to play a defensive snap for the Buckeyes. He played special teams snaps in the Buckeyes’ 2020 season opener against Nebraska as a true freshman, but has not appeared in a regular-season game yet.

Melton still has three years of collegiate eligibility after 2022.

While Melton’s injury is a hit to Ohio State’s depth up front, the Buckeyes still have eight scholarship defensive ends who are expected to be available play this fall. The quintet of Zach Harrison, J.T. Tuimoloau, Jack Sawyer, Javontae Jean-Baptiste and Tyler Friday was likely to see most of the playing time this season even if Melton was healthy, while true freshman Caden Curry is also making a push to play immediately. Kenyatta Jackson Jr. and Omari Abor – the 60th and 63rd overall prospects in the 2022 recruiting class, respectively – will join the Buckeyes this summer.

Sawyer, Jean-Baptiste and Curry are the likely candidates to play most of the snaps at the Jack position with Melton sidelined.

View 71 Comments