Ohio State football players Chase Young and Jeff Okudah unanimous All-Americans

Joey Kaufman
Chase Young, left, celebrates a sack against Miami with Jeff Okudah in the Buckeyes' 76-5 win over the RedHawks on Sept. 21. [Eric Albrecht/Dispatch]

Ohio State defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah are unanimous All-Americans.

The recognition came Thursday after they were named first-team All-Americans by the Football Writers Association of America.

The FWAA's All-American team is one of five used by the NCAA to determine unanimous or consensus status, along with the Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, Sporting News and Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Center Billy Price was the last Ohio State player to earn unanimous status in 2017, following center Pat Elflein and safety Malik Hooker the previous year.

Young and Okudah become the 28th and 29th players in program history to be recognized as unanimous All-Americans, according to the school's media guide.

During the regular season, Young was the nation's sack leader and a Heisman Trophy finalist despite missing two games because of a suspension over an NCAA rules violation. Okudah was considered one of the top cover corners and had three interceptions.

Running back J.K. Dobbins was also included on the FWAA first team as an all-purpose player, with Oklahoma State's Chuba Hubbard and Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor selected as the two running backs.

Other than Young and Okudah, no other Ohio State players received unanimous or consensus All-American status this season.

Right guard Wyatt Davis was the closest after he was named a first-team All-American by the AP and the Sporting News, one shy of becoming a consensus All-American.

Dobbins was the only other Buckeye to appear on one of the five official All-American first teams.

Phillips flips to Utah

Cornerback Clark Phillips III signed a letter of intent with Utah on Thursday, spurning Ohio State after he had been committed to the Buckeyes for six months.

The decommitment of Phillips came in the aftermath of assistant Jeff Hafley leaving for Boston College last week.

Hafley, who was hired as the Eagles' coach after one season as the defensive co-coordinator and secondary coach for the Buckeyes, served as the primary recruiter for Phillips, a four-star recruit from La Habra, California, who was ranked as the No. 4 cornerback in the country in 247Sports' composite rankings.

Phillips is the highest-rated player to sign with Utah in the modern recruiting era.

The Buckeyes once had five defensive backs who were committed for the class of 2020, but only three of them — cornerbacks Lejond Cavazos and Ryan Watts and safety Lathan Ransom — were among the 24 signees on Wednesday when the early signing period began.

In the immediate aftermath of Hafley's hiring by Boston College, coach Ryan Day said he still expected all five of the committed defensive backs to sign with Ohio State.

The Buckeyes' remaining defensive back commit is Cameron Martinez, who said he will sign his letter of intent in February.

A few days off

Ohio State players and coaches were off Thursday, the first of a three-day break after they held their last practice on campus the previous day.

Players were able to visit their families before traveling to Phoenix for their Fiesta Bowl preparation on Sunday, when the team's flight is scheduled to land at 4 p.m. Eastern time.

“They won't be home for Christmas, so I think it's the right thing to do,” Day said.

The College Football Playoff semifinal against Clemson is Dec. 28.



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