Ohio State football: Who’s in and who’s out for Buckeyes on Saturday

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State linebacker Justin Hilliard tries to down a punt during a game at Northwestern last October.

The availability of Ohio State linebacker Justin Hilliard will be a game-time decision Saturday against Nebraska, according to the team’s release Friday.

Hilliard has been viewed as a possible starter at strong-side linebacker, rotating at the spot with fellow senior Baron Browning.

The status of defensive tackle Jaden McKenzie is also up in the air entering this weekend.

But elsewhere on the defensive line, the Buckeyes received some encouraging health news. Defensive tackles Haskell Garrett and Taron Vincent are expected to be available after they were not among the 14 players who were ruled out or listed as game-time decisions.

Buckeyes coach Ryan Day had not been definitive about their availability for the opening earlier in the week.

Garrett has been recovering from injuries suffered in August when he was shot in the face near campus, and Vincent was also out last season due to a shoulder injury.

The status report does not detail the absences as Ohio State does not provide specifics on injuries or release information related to daily testing for COVID-19.

Under the Big Ten policy, teams are unable to play if their test positivity rate exceeds 5%. Rapid testing began for teams late last month through antigen tests that have been provided by the conference.

The dozen Ohio State players who are out against the Cornhuskers include cornerback Lejond Cavazos, defensive lineman Jacolbe Cowan, running back Marcus Crowley, offensive lineman Gavin Cupp, linebacker Tommy Eichenberg, wide receiver Jaylen Harris, wide receiver Austin Kutscher, long snapper Roen McCullough, defensive back Alec Taylor, quarterback Danny Vanatsky, safety Kourt Willilams and running back Miyan Williams.