Every day until fall camp begins for Ohio State, we will profile a different Buckeye football player. Today that player is sophomore linebacker Cody Simon. Yesterday it was tight end Cade Stover. You can find all of the daily Scoop Profiles right here.
No. 30 | Linebacker | 6-2 232 | Sophomore | St. Peter’s Prep | Jersey City, New Jersey
How’d He Get Here
Before Ohio State offered Cody Simon, he held offers from Penn State, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Stanford, Miami, and others. The Buckeyes extended an offer on May 7, 2019 and Simon visited officially six weeks later. Nine days later, he committed to Ohio State. Simon was the No. 75 player in the 2020 recruiting class and the No. 4 inside linebacker nationally. Prior to his senior year at St. Peter’s Prep, he clocked in a 4.53 at The Opening Finals. He also used his speed as a receiver and punt returner in high school. Simon played in seven games last season, but saw snaps on defense just twice. He is currently one of four Buckeyes from the Garden State.
With expected starting middle linebacker Dallas Gant out this spring, Cody Simon got a lot of work inside with the ones. He spent time at both Mike and Will and since those positions are relatively interchangeable, he is a candidate at either of those spots this season. Linebacker coach Al Washington was very high on Simon and classmate Mitchell Melton this spring, talking about how professional they were in their approach. Simon learned how to prepare by watching guys like Pete Werner, Tuf Borland, Baron Browning, and Justin Hilliard. He saw how seriously they took their responsibilities and quickly did the same.
What to Like
Cody Simon put on weight since he got to OSU and is now better equipped to handle the run. He has still kept his speed, which helps him go east and west or north and south. The only thing missing from his game is experience, but the spring was huge for him. He got a ton of reps, which should help the game slow down a bit. Simon is a versatile defender and could be used at any of the three linebacker spots. The Buckeyes didn’t show much of a true Sam linebacker this spring, but they have options if it’s brought back.
What’s the Ceiling This Year?
The two likely starting spots at inside linebacker this year belong to seniors Teradja Mitchell at the Will and Dallas Gant at the Mike. However, Gant missing the spring isn’t something that can be ignored. If Cody Simon can show his coaches that he is at least Gant’s equal, they may opt to go for the younger player because he’d then be a returning starter next year. Of course, because of the free year from the NCAA last year, Gant could choose to return as well and put two years of starting on tape. Even if Simon doesn’t win a starting job, Al Washington has shown that he has no problem playing four or five linebackers. The Buckeyes want to have some different packages this season, so Simon could be part of that as well. Simon may not win a starting job, but his job this year could end up being similar to Justin Hilliard’s utility role from a season ago. And that wouldn’t be a bad thing for anybody.
The expectation is that Cody Simon will eventually earn a starting linebacker job at Ohio State. The Buckeyes lost four seniors from last year’s team and could lose three from this year’s team. In 2022 as a junior, Simon could be one of the leaders on this Ohio State defense. The coaches are very high on him and love his approach. That approach will be on display this year, but fans will likely get a better picture of everything that Simon can do for a defense in 2022.