It appears as though Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison is returning for his senior season with the Buckeyes.
Harrison posted the following on Instagram with an added note of “9/3/22,” which would seem to indicate that he has his eye on the season opener against Notre Dame next season.
An NFL source has confirmed to Buckeye Scoop that Harrison intends to return for his senior season.
This past season as a two-year starter for the Buckeyes, Harrison finished ninth on the team with 33 tackles. He tied for the team lead with 7.0 tackles for loss and was fifth on the team with 3.0 sacks.
Harrison’s return would seem to coincide with the return of defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who at this point is the lone holdover on head coach Ryan Day’s defensive staff.
At 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds and possessing track speed, Harrison’s potential has always been a headline. With new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles in Columbus, the rest of the story will soon be written.
Knowles came from Oklahoma State, which led the nation with four sacks per game this past season. The Cowboys had a pair of defensive ends post at least 9.0 sacks in 2021, including 10.5 from true freshman Collin Oliver.
For his career, Harrison has 71 tackles, 16.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks.
Should Harrison actually be returning, he will lead an experienced group of both veterans and underclassmen. Tyler Friday missed the 2021 season due to injury but will be back for his fifth year in 2022. Javontae Jean-Baptiste is also expected back in 2022. The Buckeyes will also return second-year players JT Tuimoloau and Jack Sawyer, both of whom showed plenty of promise as true freshmen in 2021.
Ohio State has also signed a pair of defensive ends in the 2022 class in Kenyatta Jackson and Caden Curry and will be attempting to sign a third — Omari Abor — who is currently committed to the Buckeyes.