INDIANAPOLIS – It has been a winding journey for Ohio State defensive end Zach Harrison to the NFL Scouting Combine. It almost feels like yesterday that the 2019 five-star prospect out of Olentangy Orange high school committed to the Buckeyes, set to be the next in line with the Chase Young’s and Bosa brothers of years past.
Those were lofty expectations for anyone to live up to, three players that each were taken in the top-10 picks of their respective NFL Draft years.
For Harrison, it was an up-and-down career in terms of what the numbers will show through four years of playing, never a huge sack total, a fair amount of TFLs and maybe not getting the mention of some of his fellow linemen.
“I feel you’re going to get a playmaker, a guy who’s going to be able to lead, be a leader in the locker room,” Harrison said of what a team would be getting if they drafted him. “Guys are going to gravitate toward me because of my hard work and my personality. And I’m a guy on the field who likes to make plays, and I like getting TFLs and change the game.”
But if you look deeper into his game, Harrison was a pivotal part of the defensive line and while Harrison may not have been getting home, that seemed to be a theme across the line as opposing offenses made it common practice to get the ball out of the quarterback’s hands as soon as possible before the Ohio State pass rush could come home.
Harrison never was one during his recruitment for a lot of interviews, something that never really changed during his time with the Buckeyes, even if his level of comfort seems to be much higher as a young man in his 20s versus being a teenager.
The former Ohio State defensive lineman seems very comfortable with the media now and held court for better than 15 minutes. His growth led him all the way to being named captain for the Buckeyes, something that means a lot to him.
“I’d probably say my biggest accomplishment there was just being voted captain,” Harrison said. “That’s something I’m going to have on my resume for the rest of my life. That was voted on by my peers. I’m really honored to be able to do that. And just all my time on Ohio State, I loved every second of it, the whole journey.”
Being a Central Ohio product and then playing football at Ohio State, this will be his first move away from home, regardless of who drafts him.
“I’m excited. Just something new. I love Columbus,” Harrison said. “It’s always going to have a special place in my heart because it’s home. But I’m ready to spread my wings and get away from home and plant my roots somewhere else.”
With the way that Ohio State’s season ended in the Peach Bowl, there were still a few questions about his last plays as a member of the Buckeyes, but that is par for the course.
“We didn’t go in there believing we were underdogs,” Harrison added. “We went in there to win the game. It sucks the way the way the game ended and the way we couldn’t get the win. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s a memory I’ll have forever. I loved my time at Ohio State. Obviously, I wanted to get the win, but it’s football and it happens.”
Find out more of what Harrison had to say as the first Buckeyes player up at the NFL Scouting Combine and keep it locked in here to BuckeyeHuddle for full coverage of the event.