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Haskell Garrett contemplates return to Ohio State for fifth season in 2021

Joey Kaufman
Buckeye Xtra
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive tackle Haskell Garrett sports a pair of Rose Bowl headphones as he arrives with the Ohio State Buckeyes before a NCAA Division I football game between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, September 28, 2019 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska. [Joshua A. Bickel/Dispatch]

Defensive tackle Haskell Garrett has had a breakout senior season at Ohio State. He could also rejoin the Buckeyes next fall.

Because of the NCAA’s eligibility freeze during the coronavirus pandemic, seniors are able to return for an additional season.

Speaking with reporters during a Zoom call on Tuesday afternoon, Garrett said he was considering the possibility of sticking around in 2021, though he had not arrived at a final decision.

“I’m still debating, and it’s something that I have to go over with myself and with my family after the season,” Garrett said. “I’m just trying to stay in the moment and just stay focused so I can contribute as much as I can to the team.”

The Buckeyes, who face Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinals on Friday, have benefited from his presence in the middle of their defensive line.

In six games, Garrett has been a disruptive force in the backfield and totaled two sacks, along with four tackles for loss.

Earlier this week, he received second-team All-American honors from the Associated Press and Sporting News.

The health status of Garrett for this season was once up in jeopardy after he was shot in the face in August and hospitalized as a result. His injuries required multiple stitches and surgeries.

He told The Dispatch earlier this month that he had only recently started eating solid foods, cutting meat into small pieces.

Garrett, who joined the Buckeyes as a member of their 2017 recruiting class, would be in his fifth season in 2021.

While he could enter the NFL draft, this season was his first time starting after spending earlier years as a key reserve.

No other Ohio State senior has said publicly if they plan to take advantage of the eligibility freeze, though Garrett was one of four who did not participate in a virtual senior day on Dec. 12, suggesting they might be contemplating a return.

The others who were not included in the virtual senior day were wide receiver Jaylen Harris, running back Demario McCall and cornerback Marcus Williamson.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman