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Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Charting next 'LEO' at Ohio State

By Brad Bournival

John Simon flourished at the LEO position in the Ohio State defense in 2012.

The standup defensive end recorded 44 tackles -- 14 for loss -- nine sacks and forced a fumble in his nine games for Ohio State.

The next in line for the Buckeyes are players who likely are already familiar to fans as Noah Spence, Jamal Marcus, Steve Miller, Tracy Sprinkle and transfer Rashad Frazier have played this spring.

But who comes after that?

Current freshman Tyquan Lewis could fill in there as well, but all eyes have turned to 2014 and who might be in the mix.

Dante Booker
Dante Booker could grow into a defensive end role.
The No. 6 commitment in the class certainly might be a good fit in Sam Hubbard (Cincinnati/Moeller).

At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, Hubbard has the build and skill set to play the position, as his coach John Rodenberg pointed out when the junior picked up the offer from Ohio State.

The Buckeyes love his versatility and could move Hubbard up front when he gets to campus.

His 75 tackles -- seven for loss -- two forced fumbles, two interceptions and fumble recovery prove he is a gamer as well.

While the Buckeyes are loaded at the position, there really is never such a thing as too many defensive linemen.

At 6-5 and 225 pounds, Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) is the same size as Hubbard and is already a standup defensive end.

Last season, he led the Blue Devils to the state finals for the first time in 55 years in a season when he made 136 tackles, forced four fumbles and recorded 18 sacks.

Former Ohio State commit Lawrence Marshall (Southfield, Mich./Southfield) could be another fit at 6-4 and 205 pounds, though the Buckeyes would probably want to put some muscle on his frame after a season where the junior registered 79 tackles, 15 sacks and four interceptions.

The last name may come as a surprise in Dante Booker (Akron, Ohio/St. Vincent-St. Mary). At 6-3 and 215 pounds, he’s perfect for the outside linebacker position. But Booker keeps growing and would be an excellent hybrid-type player should he come to the Buckeyes. He’s got a nose for the ball and has been on Ohio State’s radar for a long time.

Last season, he made 72 tackles and recorded 15 sacks en route to an Ohio Division III state championship.