Following an offseason that saw Ohio State lose all seven of its captains from the 2020 season, the Buckeyes announced their next set of team leaders Friday.
Graduate offensive lineman Thayer Munford and wide receivers senior Chris Olave and junior Kamryn Babb represent the offense in head coach Ryan Day’s group of captains.
On the defensive side of the ball, veteran defensive linemen graduate Haskell Garrett and junior Zach Harrison, alongside senior linebacker Teradja Mitchell, are the leaders from the defense.
Olave, Munford and Garrett all made the decision to forego the NFL draft last season in order to return to Ohio State in its pursuit for a national title. Those three will now get that opportunity as leaders of the team.
Offensive line coach Greg Studrawa pointed to Munford’s decision to come back to Ohio State as an example of how much he cares about the team.
“It shows you who he is. It shows you that he cares about the team before anything else. Just like coming back,” Studrawa said. “ He wants more than anything else for this team to win.”
On the opposite side of the ball, defensive line coach Larry Johnson praised Garrett for the work he put in over the offseason.
“I’m really happy with where he’s at right now. I think he came back with some resilience,” Johnson said. “He’s really a smart player, but he gets it. He understands how to play the game.”
Lining up behind Garrett will likely be Mitchell — a veteran of 27 games played as a Buckeye.
Mitchell’s partner in the linebacking corps Cody Simon said he’s noticed him become more of a vocal leader throughout the offseason.
“He’s our leader right now. He’s the senior guy, so right now our job is to play and let him lead us,” Simon said. “He saw what the four linebackers who left did and now we’re all trying to emulate it. I think we all took it to another level, but he’s always been a hard worker, extra worker.”
Harrison is one of two juniors to serve as a captain this season, joining Babb.
Johnson said he’s seen Harrison — a Columbus native — grow as a leader since his arrival on campus.
“He’s more confident right now. He’s playing at a much faster pace than we like him to play at,” Johnson said. “His leadership is off the charts right now. He’s put the work in.”
The six Buckeye captains have a combined 176 games played between them, with Munford leading the pack with 45 games played. Babb has the least in-game experience of the captains, playing in seven games last season after missing his first two seasons at Ohio State due to injury.