Chase Young is officially headed to the 2020 NFL Draft.
The Ohio State defensive end announced his long-expected decision on social media.
Young arrived in Columbus in 2017 from Maryland’s DeMatha Catholic as a five-star prospect and spent three seasons showing why.
A team captain, Young entered bowl season leading the nation in tackles for loss per game (1.9) and sacks per game (1.5).
»RELATED: Looking at 2020 Buckeyes’ defense
As a senior, he won the Bednarik Award and Nagerski Award as the nation’s best defensive player and was a finalist for the Heisman and Maxwell awards that go to the nation’s most outstanding player.
Despite missing two games because of an NCAA violation, Young broke the Ohio State single-season record with 16.5 sacks in 2019.
He was named the Big Ten Defensive Player and Lineman of the Year before also being receiving the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as the conference MVP.
»RELATED: Looking at 2020 Buckeyes’ offense
Young is widely considered the best overall player available in the draft.
He could be chosen No. 1 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals, but they are also likely to at least heavily consider taking Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Joe Burrow of LSU.
If the Bengals draft Burrow, Young is likely to end up with his hometown Washington Redskins, who have the second pick.
Last year they drafted Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins Jr., who also attended high school in the D.C. area, and receiver Terry McLaurin.
Previously fellow Ohio State juniors Jeff Okudah and J.K. Dobbins announced they will enter the draft a year early.
Prior to this year, 54 Buckeyes have gone pro with eligibility remaining, including six last year.
Thirty of Ohio State’s NFL Draft early entrants have gone in the first round, including Haskins and Nick Bosa last year.
Bosa was the eighth Ohio State defensive end drafted in the first round, joining his brother Joey, Cameron Heyward, Vernon Gholston, Will Smith, Alonzo Spellman, Eric Kumerow (uncle to the Bosas) and Jim Houston.
Young’s departure means Ohio State will have to replace three starters on the defensive line, though coach Larry Johnson’s habit of deploying a deep rotation means he has plenty of experienced, talented candidates to step into the spotlight.
The entire secondary may need to be replaced as well.
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