The Ohio State defense got another boost Thursday when All-Big Ten linebacker Tommy Eichenberg announced he is returning for a fifth season in Columbus.
The Cleveland St. Ignatius product finished third in the Big Ten with 112 tackles in his first full season as a starter.
His 12 tackles for loss were the most for a Big Ten inside linebacker, and the most for a Buckeye.
He also had an interception return for a touchdown and finished second among all Ohio State players with five quarterback hits.
Eichenberg was a four-star recruit and the No. 7-ranked player in Ohio in 2019 per 247Sports Composite rankings, but he had to wait to make an impact with the Buckeyes.
After redshirting in 2019, he saw action in one game during the truncated 2020 campaign.
Eichenberg started four games in 2021, including a breakout 17-tackle game in the Rose Bowl, but really blossomed on Jim Knowles’ new defense last fall.
With Steele Chambers announcing before the bowl game he plans to return, Ohio State has both starting linebackers back for 2023.
Field safety Ronnie Hickman is entering the draft with eligibility remaining, but boundary safety Lathan Ransom is expected to return.
Cornerback Cam Brown is out of eligibility, but Denzel Burke has two years remaining.
Up front, Zach Harrison and Taron Vincent graduate while J.T. Tuimoloau and a handful of interior players are set to return.
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