Wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr. and defensive end Jack Sawyer are the first two Ohio State freshmen to have their black stripes removed this year. The removal of the black stripe from the helmet signifies that a player has done enough in practice to earn full-fledged Buckeye status.
Losing a black stripe in spring is a rarity for Ohio State freshmen, but it does happen from time to time. The fact that it happened with these two particular players is not a tremendous surprise.
Sawyer is arguably the top freshman in all of college football this year. He was ranked a 5-star prospect by all services and was ESPN’s top overall prospect. Early reports on our Ask The Insiders board have been leading to this, and had there been a betting line on black stripe removals, Sawyer would have likely been the odds-on favorite.
Some of those same insider reports have been raving about Harrison, who is the son of NFL Hall of Fame wide receiver Marvin Harrison. Even in the glimpses the media has gotten to see this past week, Harrison was a standout as he caught a pair of touchdown passes in red zone drills.
The first Buckeye to lose his black stripe this spring was redshirt freshman defensive lineman Jacolbe Cowan, who missed all of last year with an injury.
Ohio State Black Stripe Leaderboard
DL Jacolbe Cowan – April 2
WR Marvin Harrison – April 6
DE Jack Sawyer – April 6