Thursday morning this week brought the surprising and quite unexpected news that star Ohio State defensive end Chase Young was under investigation by the NCAA and would miss this weekend's matchup vs. Maryland. Saturday morning was the bombshell: Ohio State expects Young to be suspended for the remainder of the regular season for accepting a loan from a family friend.
There will be a lot of think-pieces coming out over the next few days about how this is just another NCAA farce that robs one of the best teams in the country of their best player. But my biggest takeaway is that it's a loss for fans of college football (other than Michigan fans, of course), because Young is an absolute blast to watch play football.
Young has made a rock-solid case to be considered the best prospect in this year's NFL draft as an absolute game-wrecker on the edge. He has 13.5 sacks to this point with five forced fumbles. Ohio State's biggest challenge to date came against Wisconsin, and Young showed out with four sacks.
Like the Bosa Brothers who came before him, Young combines elite quickness and strength with a level of technique rarely seen from college players. He has his go-to moves, counters, and counters for those counters. Tua Tagovailoa seems likely to be the No. 1 overall pick, but at this point, Young is far and away the best prospect.
That's why it's such a tragedy that we've been robbed of the last four games of Young's season. Ohio State's last four games include two big matchups with Penn State and Michigan, so they'll miss him. But it was well within the realm of possibility that Young finished with 20 sacks, and would have been the first player to hit that mark since Elvis Dumervil in 2005. Now, it's just what could have been.
Most fans don't mind seeing Ohio State get taken down a peg, even if the circumstances surrounding it are ridiculous. But Young is one of the rare college football defenders that supersedes any dislike of the school. He was appointment viewing, and we've all been robbed of the chance to watch him dominate wire-to-wire.