Defensive end Zach Harrison became the second member of Ohio State’s 2019 recruiting class to shed his black stripe following Friday’s practice, which marks the first time since the tradition was introduced that two true freshman have done so in the same spring.
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) April 12, 2019
“I want to start off by thanking my unit for helping me out,” Harrison said while standing in the pouring rain. “Thanks to coach [Larry] Johnson, the strength guys and all the guys who came with me.”
The 6-6, 255-pound Harrison — who was considered the second-best strong side defensive end and No. 12 prospect overall in the Class of 2019 — chose Ohio State during the Early Signing Period in December over finalists Michigan and Penn State. He was the highest-rated member of the Buckeyes’ Dynasty ’19 recruiting class, barely edging out wide receiver Garrett Wilson, who also had his stripe removed earlier this week.
Both Ohio State head coach Ryan Day and co-defensive coordinator Greg Mattison have been extremely complimentary of Harrison this spring, which should come as no surprise given his three-sack effort in a full-team scrimmage in front of the media last week.
“He’s everything you thought when you recruited him,”said Mattison, who nearly persuaded Harrison to join him in Ann Arbor. “I mean, he’s a special athlete.”
Ten Buckeyes have lost their black stripes this spring, including Wilson; sophomore transfer quarterback Justin Fields; redshirt freshman offensive tackle Max Wray; walk-on wide receiver Austin Kutscher; walk-on linebackers Logan Hittle, Cade Kacherski and Ben Schmiesing; walk-on cornerback Darryl Sinclair; and walk-on safety Ryan Batsch.
Spring practice culminates with the annual Spring Game on Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon in Ohio Stadium.