Ohio State head coach Ryan Day confirmed during a Monday afternoon press conference that super seniors Jerron Cage, Palaie Gaoteote and Teradja Mitchell are all coming back for the Buckeyes next season, while cornerback Sevyn Banks is not expected back.
Cage started at defensive tackle last season alongside Haskell Garrett, racking up four tackles for loss and a sack while recovering two fumbles. Cage is in line to start this upcoming season along with Taron Vincent, though Tyleik Williams could push for a starting nod.
He also provided one of the highlights of the 2021 season, returning a fumble 57 yards for a touchdown, helping to push Ohio State to a 33-24 win over Penn State.
Gaoteote and Mitchell, a team captain in 2021, saw less of an impact at linebacker.
Gaoteote never found his footing after gaining late clearance to play, and Mitchell saw his snap count decrease throughout the season after losing his starting job. The duo combined for 54 tackles, 5.5 for loss, and half a sack, and will figure into the rotation in new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles’ scheme.
Banks, meanwhile, graduated from Ohio State and is not expected back with the program, though Day said he still plans to speak to Banks and his family. After starting early in the season, Banks did not play in the team’s final three games.