The junior defensive end has an Ohio State-record 16½ sacks this season despite missing two games because of a suspension after an NCAA rules violation.
Ohio State defensive end Chase Young has been named the Big Ten’s defensive player of the year.
The announcement was made Tuesday during a telecast on the Big Ten Network in which the conference’s defensive honorees were unveiled after voting by conference coaches and media members.
Young, a prolific pass rusher, has compiled 16½ sacks this season, breaking the Buckeyes’ decade-old single-season record despite missing two games due to a suspension following an NCAA rules violation.
It is the first time that an Ohio State player has been awarded the conference’s top defensive honor since 2014, when defensive end Joey Bosa took the award.
Although Young did not record or tackle or sack in the Buckeyes’ final regular-season game at Michigan, a 56-27 blowout victory over their archrival, some of his most productive performances came in matchups against the Big Ten’s best teams.
Young had three sacks in the win over Penn State on Nov. 23 and four sacks against Wisconsin on Oct. 26.
He and the Buckeyes meet Wisconsin again on Saturday night in the Big Ten championship game in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
A junior from Hyattsville, Maryland, Young also led the conference with 19½ tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
He also is considered among the top players available for next April’s NFL draft.
Young also was named the Big Ten’s defensive lineman of the year, the fifth time in six seasons that an Ohio State lineman was so recognized.
Besides Young, the all-Big Ten defensive teams included Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and safety Jordan Fuller, who were named first team by the conference’s coaches and media, and linebacker Malik Harrison, who was named first team by the coaches and second team by the media.
Also, cornerback Damon Arnette was a second-team selection and defensive tackle Davon Hamilton and cornerback Shaun Wade were named to the third team.
Among special-teams players, OSU kicker Blake Haubeil was named to the Big Ten’s third team.
In addition, Ohio State senior linebacker Justin Hilliard was named the conference’s Sportsmanship Honoree. The senior from Cincinnati had lost two seasons to injury but returned to make key contributions to the defense this season.