DE / OHIO STATE
With the absence of Dre’Mont Jones last week, Jalyn Holmes, a defensive end by title, jumped down inside to help out on the Ohio State tackles rotation, and the senior from Norfolk, Virginia, probably will do so again Saturday when the Buckeyes host Maryland.
“He always wanted to be inside, man,” defensive tackle Tracy Sprinkle said, laughing. “He’s adjusting real well.”
Jones suffered a laceration of his left leg in a freak accident in the locker room after a practice last week, snagging his leg on a protrusion from his locker. He did not make the trip to Rutgers and will miss the Maryland game as the wound continues to heal.
But considering that Jones was once a defensive end before being transferred inside last year to take advantage of his quickness, the move by Holmes wasn’t all that odd. He excelled at times against Rutgers, especially when chasing plays to the edge from the three-technique spot (lining up in the gap between a guard and tackle).
“He has a lot of speed,” said Sprinkle, himself a former defensive end. “Me and Dre’Mont might think we have speed, but when you move an end inside you can see the difference in speed. He’s a real big guy (6 feet 5, 270 pounds) and he can move fast.”
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Maryland coach DJ Durkin said he noticed on video some of the disruption caused by Holmes, who had two tackles against the Scarlet Knights.
“Jalyn is a really good football player,” Durkin said. “I think he does a great job both inside and outside for them. The impressive thing to me is how many different guys all come in there and play really well up front.”
Defensive line coach Larry Johnson noted that Holmes, part of the four-deep rotation at defensive end with Tyquan Lewis, Sam Hubbard and Nick Bosa, already was sliding inside often in the “rushmen” package on what are expected to passing downs by the offense.
“That made it a really smooth transition for him,” Johnson said. “The thing we had to teach him was just how to play the blocks, because he doesn’t see them in a normal (pass-rush) phase because he’s just rushing.
“Watching the videotape, I thought he did a great job. I’m really pleased that he played really well for us.”
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