Ohio State '20 OH DE (SR) - Jack Sawyer ('23 Second Team All-BIG, '22 Honorable Mention All-BIG)

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    • On walk-on tight end Patrick Gurd earning playing time: “It's awesome. Me and Pat are pretty good buddies off the field. And just to see him keep working and keep his trust in God throughout the last couple of years and finally get a shot to play is amazing. And he's the type of guy who I wouldn't be surprised if he got a scholarship after the season.”
    • Asked if run defense is an undervalued part of defensive end play in the public’s perception, Jack Sawyer responded with a confident “yeah.” “I get it, guys in the media and people who just watch the game, they want to see the big sack stats and all those, which is good. But we’re focused on winning games, playing good defense, playing tough, just keep winning. Don't worry about any of the stats, we'll come back up after the season, look at those.”
    • On the importance of setting the edge: “If you don’t have an edge set, that’s when explosives happen, that’s when the ball starts running 10, 15, 20 yards downfield before you make a tackle. It’s really important to set edges, not just at defensive end. You set edges as the three-technique or if you’re a linebacker filling a gap.”
    • Sawyer is enjoying life back at defensive end after playing the “Jack” position a year ago. “I’m loving playing defensive end again, I’m having a lot of fun. Our defensive line is playing really well. The front seven as a whole is playing really well, so is the back end, our defense is playing really well as a whole and we’re winning games.”
    • The success of Ohio State’s defense in the red zone goes back to its new motto of “Give us an inch and we’ll defend it,” Sawyer said. “For whatever reason it is, when we get down there, everyone rises up a little more.”
    • On being referred to as a “hard hat” player by Ryan Day: “Every player who plays this game and everybody on this team, we can always find ways to get better. It’s our responsibility to handle our time right, manage our time right and put in as much work as we can to give the best product on the field on Saturday. For me, I’ve just been trying to do anything I can, whether that’s watching extra film, more work with Coach (Larry Johnson), all that stuff.”
     
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