Ohio State defensive end Tyler Friday to miss most of season with injury

Joey Kaufman
The Columbus Dispatch
Ohio State Buckeyes defensive end Tyler Friday (54) tries to break free of Cincinnati Bearcats offensive lineman Vincent McConnell in a 2019 game at Ohio Stadium. Friday will miss most of the upcoming season because of an injury, coach Ryan Day said Wednesday.

Ohio State defensive end Tyler Friday is expected to miss most of the upcoming season because of an unspecified injury.

During a news conference on Wednesday morning following the Buckeyes’ first practice of preseason camp, coach Ryan Day said Friday was unavailable and expected that he would be sidelined for a majority of the fall. He didn’t go into specifics about the nature of the injury.

Friday was a part of the team’s defensive end rotation as a junior last season and finished with seven total tackles in five games. In a pre-coronavirus pandemic season in 2019, he had eight tackles and a pair of sacks.

He was likely to be behind Zach Harrison and Tyreke Smith on the depth chart as they project as the starters, but he offers a veteran presence. 

Among the Buckeyes’ returning defensive ends, only Smith has appeared in more games — with 30 — than Friday, who’s been in 25 in his college career.

His absence will likely prompt heralded freshmen and former five-star recruits Jack Sawyer and J.T. Tuimoloau to see more potential playing time when the season begins next month.

“They’re going to have to get on the field sooner than maybe we thought before,” Day said. “That’s really the whole defensive end group.”

Sawyer enrolled at Ohio State in January and went through spring practice, starring in the spring game in April where he totaled three sacks, an early arrival that could give him a leg up.

Tuimoloau enrolled this summer after holding off on his commitment until the Fourth of July. The postponement of his decision allowed him to visit schools in June when the NCAA's recruiting dead period had ended.

The Buckeyes also have an experienced returner in Javontae Jean-Baptiste, a fourth-year junior who was also a member of the 2018 recruiting class with Friday and Smith. Over the past two seasons, Jean-Baptiste has appeared in 20 games. He redshirted in 2018.

jkaufman@dispatch.com

@joeyrkaufman

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